Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Kelvin Charles says Parliament must have a high level of accountability and transparency.
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BPTT to start fabrication for Juniper
Work on Juniper, a T&T-based project in global BP’s Major Projects Portfolio 2015–2020, will begin this year, Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine and BP regional president Norman Christie confirmed on April 12. Ramnarine was delivering the inaugural address at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (GSB), Mt Hope campus’ energy lecture series, while Christie fielded reporters’ questions after.
Juniper, one of BP’s 34 major projects around the world, is prospective for one trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. To put in perspective, the country’s total gas production in 2013 averaged 1.5 tcf. All things being equal, and subject to country and company approvals, Christie estimated first gas out of Juniper to surface in 2017. “The plan is—as the minister said—that we expect to start some serious work on that (Juniper) this year. “There are some final steps to go through in the (BP) group, which, to be honest with you, I can’t speak to right now, but there is work that we expect to start this year, like possibly fabrication work, and then if that goes to plan, you would have first gas somewhere around 2017. “That would be the timeframe we’re thinking of, but the caveat here—I need to point out—is that, of course, we have to finish all of the approval processes in the country,” Christie said.
Fabrication is the term used in the oil and gas industry for the manufacture of parts from scratch for a specific project. On the fiscal incentives Ramnarine has lined up for oil and gas companies, Christie said: “It’s good to see the progress that has been made on the Finance Bill, which went through Parliament in the Senate, as I understand it, and now needs to be assented. The Finance Bill impacted on capital allowances, as the minister indicated, which makes capital investment much more competitive in T&T versus the places that T&T has to compete against. “So it’s an important bill, because for investors like ourselves, it actually means that you can get around this quicker, which means that it’s a more competitive investment, versus putting your dollars elsewhere, so that’s the importance of the Finance Bill.”
Giving his overall thoughts on the UWI Lok Jack GSB planned energy lecture series, Christie said: “I think, actually, this is the kind of discourse the country should be involved in because energy is such an essential part of the country’s fortune. “We talk about this ‘bridge to the future.’ Well, I believe there has to be, yes, a different kind of future, but the bridge is extremely important. You want that bridge to be as long as possible, and as prosperous as possible, and the more the country knows, the more they can provide their input in ensuring that this actually works to their benefit, so I think this is actually a great forum.” Christie agreed with Ramnarine, noting that “he (Ramnarine) said he wouldn’t say that he is optimistic, but that he is hopeful” about the future of T&T’s energy industry. The minister said he preferred to say he is “hopeful” because he sees that as only one notch below “optimistic.”
Christie said: “I think that’s important for the country to hear.” Asked if he (Christie) was optimistic, he said, “I am hopeful!” to the amusement of reporters. “You guys (news media) know we’re on record in terms of what we’ve done with our ocean bottom cable (OBC) seismic (survey). Preliminary results do give us some hope, so we’re in the same category as he (Ramnarine) is.
“You can never say these things with certainty because we’re dealing with the subsurface, which has its uncertainty, whether it’s existing acreage or deepwater; but new technology tends to do just what we’re seeing. It opens up opportunity, and where we have said before that subsurface is providing hope, we have to just keep working on surface issues, and we’re definitely making progress in that area.”
Asked about the improved shallow water prospects for BP that the minister mentioned in his lecture, Christie said: “Our focus is the Columbus Basin. That’s our primary focus, so what he was referring to is: as we see more and more from the OBC seismic, and other work that we’re doing, obviously, if we see sufficient resources, then our commitment is to develop those resources, if the economics are right. So what the minister mentioned, we fully agree with. We’re seeing more. It’s preliminary, but we’re seeing more and the intent is to develop.” Speaking on ongoing drilling, Christie said: “We right now have two rigs running, so we are in fact actually doing a lot of drilling offshore with two of our rigs, and then as I mentioned with Juniper coming that would be even more activity, and using the seismic, the idea is to continue that activity to maintain the production profile that the country requires.”