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Ramnarine optimistic about gas future
T&T’s natural gas production rate of about 4.2 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day will continue “well into the next decade,” Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine has predicted.
Speaking at an Atlantic staff awards ceremony at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre in Port-of-Spain, the minister said: “Indeed, I have been looking at the supply forecast into the not-too-distant future and the key message is that with the correct incentives, the right policy and investment, the supply of natural gas will continue at today’s rates of about 4.2 bcf per day well into the next decade. “That is good news for the economy and is reason to be hopeful.
“It will, however, take huge investments, and BP and BG—the main suppliers of natural gas to Atlantic—are signalling that they are prepared to make these investments.” Ramnarine reminded the audience that for the period 2014 to 2016, his ministry forecast that US$9.5 billion ($61 billion) would be invested by mainly upstream companies in T&T. “That is a huge turnaround in the foreign direct investment (FDI) pattern in this country and tells me that the incentives and polices are working,” he said.
“As an example, there are 28 active production sharing contracts being managed by the Ministry of Energy. One of these dates back to 1974. “Of these 28, 12 were signed in the last four years. Of these 12, seven are for deepwater,” he said. Ramnarine said the global liquified natural gas (LNG) business will continue to expand into the foreseeable future. On the supply side there is growth projected but there will also be growth on the demand side, and the latter will continue to outstrip the former.
He said total global LNG capacity is 281 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), of which T&T accounts for just over 15 mtpa or 5.3 per cent. “Our 15 mtpa will always have a place in this world,” he said. The minister reiterated that the Government intends to hire consultants for formulation of a national natural gas master plan. He said their findings will be used to support policy formulation and decision-making for a critical period in the natural gas sector.