Heritage Petroleum is living up to its mandate of sustainable development, economic stability, preservation of the environment, and social responsibility, chief executive officer Arlene Chow has said as she told the Business Guardian that the company is having a busy year so far.
Last year Heritage contributed $4.8 billion in revenue to the government. Heritage was incorporated on October 5, 2018 and commenced operations on December 1 of that year.
Chow said the last four years have been intense but very rewarding. Heritage began operations with 24 employees on staff.
That figure has now grown to close to 500, Chow said. She said no effort is spared in ensuring they maintain and grow the production to ensure the viability of the company.
The CEO said asset integrity is done annually because the oilfields are over 100 years old in some places.
“We are a significant contributor of revenue to the government. Last year we contributed $4.8 billion in taxes which I think is about seven to eight per cent of the GDP.
“I think we are doing very well, we are producing the oil, we are selling the oil, we are maintaining our facilities as best as we can to ensure we keep the hydrocarbons in the pipe,” Chow said.
Continuing to provide an account of Heritage’s performance to date, Chow said: “Last year we drilled ten wells on land and our first well offshore. We had approximately 20 rigs. This year we drilled ten more wells on land and five wells offshore. We had approximately 22 rigs running. Rigs doing workover, rigs doing swabbing, drilling everything. So imagine 22 rigs at any given time working both on land and offshore…it’s significant, a lot of activity,” she said.
Chow revealed that the company is conducting its enhanced oil recovery programme because many of the reservoirs are depleted due to age.
Asked to comment on prices in the current volatile energy sector, Chow said the experts are predicting muted prices. She reminded that prices went down during the COVID-19 pandemic and then suddenly increased with the war in Ukraine to US$100 a barrel.
“It would not be as bullish as in 2022 and in that regard what we have to do is ensure that we are as efficient as possible to keep our costs steady so that we can benefit from the oil we produce even when the prices are lower. So we expect our revenue may be a bit less in 2023 because we don’t think we will have the US$100 oil prices of last year. The experts are saying it would be muted and that is what we expect,” Chow said.
On the issue of climate change and its impact on the world, Chow—who grew up in the coastal town of Mayaro said she has seen first-hand the effects of rising sea levels. She said Heritage Petroleum is doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint but reminded that Heritage is a company which is involved in oil and gas production from which government collects a sizable revenue
“Climate change is a reality but we have to balance the two, we have to produce oil and gas so that the country gets revenue, we provide seven to eight per cent of the GDP.
“We can’t stop because we have to use that revenue if we want renewables as well. So we have to think about how we could be sustainable yet producing oil and gas in the foreseeable future,” she said.
Chow explained that Heritage is currently focused on ways and means to bring down harmful emissions over the next seven years.
“We promised government to reduce our methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. So we are looking at the land area where we have already reduced some of it by 30 per cent and we looking and quantifying how much venting and emissions of methane we have in the company, understanding our carbon footprint and we have promised government a 30 per cent reduction of our carbon footprint by 2030. We will get there before (2030) I am very certain,” she insisted.
Chow assured, however, that she is very much aware of the dangers associated with climate change but called on the population to understand that as an oil and gas company, they are pivoting as much as they can to reduce their carbon footprint and still produce the oil and gas needed to run the economy.
The CEO is particularly proud of Heritage’s support for small contractors as a corporate citizen.
Chow said the company started a special programme for contractors in the various communities where they operate. She said they are required to come in and register so that they can be given preference for projects around the community and outside as well.