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Jupiter: Time to tap into small gas reserves

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Previously discovered gas reserves that were not exploited because of their small sizes may hold the key to the future of T&T’s gas sector. However, development of those marginal fields must be backed by State action, particularly proper fiscal measures, if the country is to curtail its supply shortage. 

That was the recommendation from Andrew Jupiter, professor of petroleum studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), when he spoke at the University of T&T’s (UTT) distinguished lecture and panel discussion on The Future of the Energy Sector at the Point Lisas Energy Campus.
Jupiter said the Iguana Field which was drilled by Texaco in 1982 holds some promise in the Gulf of Paria. 

“From then to now that block in still undeveloped. That is Block 1D and 1B in the Gulf of Paria. It is only 26 km offshore, it is between 50 and 80 feet water depth, the reserves are between 250 and 350 bcf and condensate is very small,” he said.

“There can multiple platforms there and estimated capital could be around $257 million to $400 million based on numbers. There are a number of development options. The point I want to make here this morning is that 1A and 1B can give us probably 80 billion cubic (feet) for about seven years and we can adjust our shortfall in natural gas in the Gulf of Paria.”

Jupiter said reserves along Trinidad’s east coast are approximately 150 bcf and one platform can be developed with capital expenditure of approximately $275 million. In the north coast there are small marginal fields with reserves estimated between 79 bcf to 196 bcf with an estimated development expenditure of $312 million.

He said some of the drivers for development of these field include  condensate gas ratio, gas prices and commercial terms. Data acquisition is key to understanding the estimations of the reserves, definitions and field complexities, he added.

Jupiter said marginal fields are not exploited because they may not produce enough net income to make them viable at a particular time. However, economic conditions may cause countries to tap into these reserves.