Young: Trinidad and Tobago has 11 years of natural gas reserves

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. – File photo

ENERGY Minister Stuart Young said TT has about 11 years of substantiated or “proven” natural gas reserves, speaking at the launch of the 2021 and 2022 gas reserves audits on Tuesday at his ministry in Port of Spain.

He said this could double to 20 years if the cross-border Loran and Manatee gas fields could be exploited.

He also mentioned the “probable” 4.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and “possible” 5.0 tcf gas reserves, together roughly equalling the substantiated reserves.

The two audits showed the proven reserves (both commercial and sub-commercial) moving from 10.2 (tcf) to 10.9 tcf in 2021 and then to about 11.5 tcf in 2022.

Young attributed the rise to work done in Woodside’s Bongo Fields, Shell’s Manatee field plus progress by Touchstone, despite decreases in reserves held by bpTT and EOG Resources Trinidad Ltd.

He presented graphs showing proven reserves at 10.6 tcf in 2019, some 9.9 tcf in 2016 and 13.1 tcf in 2012.

Between his admission that the country was a maturing oil province and his optimism over the Venezuela/TT Dragon gas deal, Young was very upbeat about the latest proven reserves.

He said it was now a matter of bringing the gas to market.

Young said he had recently met Shell and BP, who were both “aggressive and bullish” towards TT.

“EOG, Woodside and Touchstone all have similar sentiments.”

He hoped to see more resources towards boosting the proven and probable reserves.

He was expecting success in the Columbus Basin from firms using new drilling techniques.

Asked if he had a number in mind to aim for gas production, he said he wanted every molecule of hydrocarbon to be extracted as soon as possible.

Asked about any more concessions to oil and gas companies, he said on behalf of citizens, he would not wish to but said if a company identified an isolated pool of hydrocarbon, he would be willing to extend a licence for an existing field to incorporate that pool.

Young said TT’s Manatee field has about three tcf, which with seven tcf in Venezuela’s Loran’s gave a total of ten tcf. He said he could not see anywhere else the Loran gas could go except to TT whenever it comes on stream. He said Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro recently told him he was keen to work with TT on the Loran field.

On the Dragon field, he said TT has a 30-year licence with Venezuela, plus a licence until 2025 from the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).

Looking forward to 2027, he said, “We expect to see significant increases. I remain very hopeful.”

He said the energy sector has “a bright future.”

The audits were done by the firm DeGolyer and MacNaughton, replacing Ryder Scott after a competitive tender.

Company vice president Juan Pablo Francos said the two audits were done over five months, with 8,500 audit hours of work by 54 staff members.

He showed graphs of TT’s gas production now at 988 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day, compared to 930 bcf in 2012 but a whopping 1,479 bcf in 2011.

The largest producers now were bpTT (46 per cent), Shell (25 per cent), EOG (13 per cent) and Woodside (12.5 per cent).

Young said he was expecting a fresh bid soon to buy the Pointe-a-Pierre oil refinery.