Fresh evidence presented to the Integrity Commission has prompted it to reopen an investigation into People’s National Movement Chief Whip Marlene McDonald.
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Energy Minister: T&T will keep putting out acreages for bid
T&T’s policy is to be continuously putting out acreage for bid for oil and gas exploration and production, Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine said yesterday at the closing ceremony of the 2013 Competitive Deep Water Bid Round. “Our policy is to be constantly putting out acreage for bid,” Ramnarine told heads of energy companies and public servants gathered for the bid round closure at the ministry’s head office on the Port-of-Spain waterfront.
Ramnarine told the gathering six deep water production sharing contracts (PSCs) have been signed during this government’s first term in office. One was with BP, four with BHP Billiton, and one with a BHP Billiton-Repsol consortium. He said BHP Billiton has already started the exploration phase with its blocks. He said that there will be big events over next 11 years in the oil and gas industry. Two such events, he said, will be the renewal of many of T&T’s gas supply contracts, and the beginning of the deep water exploration campaign.
Spain’s Repsol, and Australia’s BHP Billiton in consortium with the UK’s BG Group bid on two of the six deepwater blocks T&T put out for bid since August last year. No bids were received on the remaining four blocks. Two bids were received on Block T&T Deep Atlantic Area (TTDAA) 3, one from the BHP Billiton-led consortium with the BG Group; and the second from Repsol. Only one bid was made on Block TTDAA 7 and it came from the BHP-BG consortium.
The two blocks are next to each other, and next to two of BHP Billiton’s deep water blocks acquired in 2013. The blocks are off the east coast of Trinidad. No bids were received on the remaining four blocks, but the energy minister said government will pause to do more surveys “to give us more data on what we have out there.” He told the packed Doddridge Alleyne Conference Room on the 26th floor of the ministry that government will take until June 30 to evaluate bids and make an announcement on the bidders selected.
He said he knows the process sounds long, but it is actually very short, considering the process next goes to a committee which reports to the minister who reports to Cabinet who approves it to go for PSC negotiation. “This will likely be our last deep water bid round for 2014 and 2015,” Ramnarine said.
Government had invited participation in its 2013 Deep Water Competitive Bid Round for six offshore blocks located in the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) and in what is known as Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area (TTDAA) to be governed by production sharing contract agreements. This bid round, which was opened on August 17, 2013, follows the 2012 Deep Water Competitive Bid Round in which BHP Billiton won four blocks.
The acreage offers a mix of water depths, hydrocarbon play-types and production potential. Risk assessment in all of the blocks is facilitated by previously acquired 2D and 3D seismic data, well penetrations and the proximity of these blocks to known hydrocarbon pools and production.