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Natural gas outlook positive for 2014
In the third quarter of 2013 the energy sector underwent a series of planned maintenance interventions that involved bpTT and BG taking bpTT Cassia B hub and BG Dolphin facilities offline. These turnarounds were co-ordinated with Atlantic’s Train 3 and nine major plants at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. This constituted the largest co-ordinated maintenance effort in the history of the national energy sector. These maintenance events were planned well in advance with planning works in some cases dating back to 2012.
The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs was central to the planning and co-ordination of these maintenance events and collaborated with BP at the highest levels of that organisation with the objective of mitigating the impact on the economy.
This maintenance programme and its impact on natural gas supply were communicated to various agencies including the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Economy and the media well in advance. At no time was the supply of natural gas to power generation companies impacted.
While the Central Bank has reported in its Monetary Policy Announcement, November 2013, that the energy sector contracted by four per cent in the third quarter of 2013, that this was anticipated. The impact would have been much worse had it not been for the co-ordinated efforts of the ministry, BP, BG, Atlantic, NGC and the Point Lisas Energy Association (PLEA).
The maintenance programme is now completed and has surpassed expectations in terms of performance. In the case of the largest installation, the BP Cassia B hub the maintenance programme was completed 25 days ahead of schedule. The ministry wishes to emphasise that these maintenance events were critically necessary for the long term integrity and sustainability of the energy sector.
The assets that underpin our country’s energy sector require periodic maintenance to ensure the long-term reliability and deliverability of natural gas to all stakeholders. The maintenance programme in the upstream natural gas sector is now largely completed. This augurs well for natural gas supply in 2014.
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