One year after BPTT said it could not meet its natural gas commitment for Train 1 because of a failed infill drilling programme, records from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries show that the company has not had a dip in its production and has maintain the gas flowing at close to two billion standard cubic feet per day.
When the announcement was made last year by the multi-national the company was in negotiation with the government and its partners over Train 1 and the announcement sent shockwaves in the country.
The government had been pressing for a better deal in Train 1 and with the BPTT announcement it raised the spectre of the Train being shut down and the better deal hoped for by the government not materialising.
At the time BPTT rubbished suggestions that the announcement was related to ongoing negotiation with the Government for the extension of the Train 1 LNG plant.
The company noted that an agreement had been reached on the price for the LNG to be produced from Train 1 under a new, and as yet unsigned, gas sales and LNG off-take arrangements. It added that BPTT and the Atlantic 1 shareholders were in discussions to finalise the terms of these arrangements when the disappointing well results became known.
In response on Wednesday to a series of question from the Sunday Business Guardian BPTT said it was able to keep its production at such a high level because of improved rates of decline from other wells and better than expected performance from its Juniper and Angelin gas fields.
The company said following the disappointing results of the 2019 infill drilling programmes it committed to working multiple options to sustain production by managing natural rates of field decline.
These options BPTT said were focused mainly on maximising base production through a combination of factors including:
1. System pressure optimisation in collaboration with Atlantic and NGC
2. Operating efficiency improvement—including maintaining the reliability of Trinidad Onshore Compression (TROC)
3. Increased wellwork to improve production from its existing wells.
4. The implementation of new technology like ceramic screens which has assisted in maximising production from existing wells.
5.Better than expected performance from the Juniper and Angelin fields.
BPTT said: “Through the collaborate efforts of our teams, NGC, Atlantic and other stakeholders we have been able to manage natural decline and maintain our production rate into 2020. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on these measures to manage natural decline in order to meet our existing long-term contractual commitments to Atlantic and NGC and to supply any additional volumes into Train 1.”
The company said the short-term supply arrangements on Train 1 have recently been extended to the end of 2020.
“We are currently reviewing our forecast production for 2021 and beyond and will continue to work with the Atlantic stakeholders to understand the options for extending the Train 1 supply arrangements beyond 2020,” BPTT said.
Last year it announced that its production will fall by up to 300 million standard cubic feet per day in 2020 and 2021.
This would have represented a 15 per cent drop in production.
BPTT last year told SBG “Given recent disappointing results on a couple of infill wells, we are now unlikely to have the 200-300 mmscf/d that we were expecting to supply into Train 1, especially in the 2020 to 2021 timeframe. These volumes would have been supplied under a new, as yet unsigned, gas sales agreement between BPTT and Atlantic 1.”
Finance Minister Colm Imbert at the time told the Parliament that the drilling campaign had resulted in only one unproductive well and he found the concerns to be “alarmist.”
Imbert insisted that the “BP wells with less than satisfactory results are only two in number and are infill wells in existing gas fields. Unlike exploration wells, infill wells are normally brought into production almost immediately. I am advised that one of these infill wells will go into production shortly, although with lower volumes than anticipated, leaving just one unproductive well. All this drama over one unproductive well is totally unnecessary!”
But BPTT told Guardian Media the two wells that failed were in its Cannonball and Cashima fields and while the fields are still producing it has had to revise its forecast for gas.
“The two wells concerned were in our Cannonball and Cashima fields. We will continue to produce gas from the existing wells in the Cannonball and Cashima fields, however, we have revised our production forecast for the 2020-2021 period in these two fields. We will review the results from these two wells and apply any learnings into future infill drilling programmes.”
BPTT is by far the largest natural gas producer in the country with an average production of 2 billion cubic feet per day.
The company said last year “There is no impact on forecast production from our other fields and there is no impact on our 2019-2020 exploration drilling programme or on our sanctioned new field developments, Angelin, Cassia Compression and Matapal. We will continue to bring on new wells in Angelin as planned this year and continue to target first gas from Cassia Compression in the second half of 2021 and Matapal in 2022. We will also step up our focus on well work and system optimisation to maximise base production from our existing fields.”