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bpTT urges engineers: Leave no hydrocarbons behind

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine, centre, examine a tool used to inspect pipelines with Ing Gruitroij, business director of A.hak Industrial Services, left, and chairman, Society of Petroleum EngineersT&T (SPETT) Brian Ramatally. They were at the formal opening of SPETT’s three-day energy conference at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

T&T’s largest hydrocarbons producer, bpTT, yesterday urged petroleum engineers to extract all of the country’s oil and gas resources. Addressing the opening of the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ 2014 Energy Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, bpTT vice president for Reservoir Development Keith Bally urged colleagues twice during his speech to “ensure we leave no hydrocarbons behind.”



He said: “Essentially, we need to constantly find the balance between maintenance of existing resources and infrastructure and the ability to add new reserves and integrate new assets into the mix. Simply put, ensure we leave no hyrdocarbons behind. This is the reality for a maturing province such as Trinidad, particularly the Columbus Basin which I will be focusing on this morning.”



Later in his conclusion, Bally reiterated: “I hope I have been able to demonstrate that significant potential and opportunity remain, although the local industry faces a number of challenges in terms of development over the long term, to ensure we leave no hydrocarbons behind.”



There is no need to re-invetnt the wheel, he said: “Continued development is directly related to our ability to maximise recovery by understanding the below-the-ground factors. At the same time, we must work towards an investment climate that would encourage the industry to invest in the technology necessary for a long-term future.


“Given the expertise that resides in this audience, there is no need to explain the geology in detail.” In the Columbus Basin, Bally said, there is “a prolific source rock, with a tectonic environment, that has allowed many trapping structures with reservoirs of high quality. Despite the fact that it is a maturing province, the basin continues to hold potential.” One example of that potential has been BP’s success at Savonette, he said. The Savonette 4 well, drilled in 2012 doubled gas in place estimates to 2 trillion cubic feet (TCF). 


“It also led us to plan three further wells at Savonette. The significance of the Savonette discovery is underscored by the fact that the impact on production has been rapid. We have since drilled Sav 5, 6 and Sav7 which incidentally was put online Friday and is expected o have initial rates at approximately 140 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd),” he said.


Bally said the ocean bottom cable seismic survey completed last year has given bpTT renewed insight into the Columbus basin. That improved knowledge is critical to the company’s understanding of the basin and will feed into its development plans, he said. In another part of his speech, he said: “This is the real prize we are going after.”


Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine, who followed Bally with the feature address, assured the audience that his plan is to offer incentives to oil and gas companies to extract the natural gas from those “small standed pools” that are not commercially viable. 


“There is a significant amount of natural gas that remains un-commercial, and therefore un-monetized because it does not make economic sense,” he said. On natural gas production, Ramnarine forecast that the country will be able to maintain its current “plateau rate” of 4.2 billion cubic feet (BCF) per day until 2025. He said that number is based on projections and forecasts to which he has been privy from bpTT and BG, the two largest natural gas producers in the country.


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