Last update: 06-Dec-2013 4:49 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T gets new oil spill plan
The National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP), which has been in the making over the past ten years, finally became reality yesterday at an official signing ceremony at Petrotrin, Pointe-a-Pierre.
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, one of the signatories to the plan, said he hopes it will never have to be put to the test. He said the local energy sector has been operating with relative safety, but following the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, Government decided to revise the 1977 plan to make it more relevant to current demands.
Ramnarine congratulated the National Hydrocarbon and Chemical Spill Contingency committee for their work on the revised NOSCP. He said the plan comes at a most opportune time since 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for drilling and a positive year for oil and gas. He said most of the major maintenance work at bpTT, BG Atlantic and Point Lisas were done this year, so there will be no major disruptions in 2014.
Addressing a room full of major energy players at the Petrotrin Staff Club, the minister said the NOSCP is very relevant since bpTT and BHP will soon start their exploration programmes for six deep water blocks. ”There are also currently seven rigs in our maritime space and an eighth rig, the Sea Drill West Freedom, will be coming by the end of the year to do work for Repsol.
“So the level of activity offshore has suddenly picked up. We went from a situation in 2010 where there was one rig drilling for BP and by the end of this year, we have eight rigs drilling in TT.” Ramnarine added that 2014 “is also shaping up to be a pretty positive year in terms of natural gas supply.” He said oil production for this yearhas averaged 81400 barrels of oil per day (bopd).
“From 2006-2012 there was a continuous decline in oil production and we have now arrested that decline in the year 2013. The mandate falls heavily on the shoulders of Petrotrin and the people in this room from the lease operator farm out community, to begin to turn that curve upwards because we have bottomed out and we have arrested the decline in oil production and we have to begin to turn that curve upwards.” The minister said it is clear that Petrotrin is central to the economy of T&T.
“When we look at what is happening in the world, it is very clear that the company has to become more competitive and more productive.” Hassanali, a member of the Cabinet appointed committee that developed the NOSCP commended the Energy Ministry for its lead in driving the initiative for the safety and protection of the environment. Hassanali said one of the major aspects of the national plan is establishment of an Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO), by the operating companies.
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