As a predominantly oil and gas economy T&T must and will accelerate the exploration and development of its hydrocarbon resources or run the risk of the resources becoming stranded.
To this end, the Energy Ministry will be offering a shallow water bid round, an onshore bid round and a deep water bid round over the next 12 months, said Energy Minister Stuart Young.
He explained that the Deep Water Competitive Bid Round is scheduled to be launched in Q3 2021, where possibly as many as 11 deep-water blocks will be available for bidding.
Speaking at the T&T Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPETT) International Energy Resources Conference and Exhibition yesterday, Young said during recent deep-water exploration, the largest 3D marine seismic survey in the western hemisphere was acquired, noting that this dataset has been refined through several processing and reprocessing efforts and covers some of the blocks being proposed for the bid round.
“In addition to this dataset, we also have various multi-client 2D surveys available over our deep water acreage and extensive well data.
“The comprehensive seismic dataset and well data will allow for an in-depth evaluation of the potential of the proposed deep-water blocks,” Young added.
He said recent deep-water exploration has been successful in identifying natural gas resources of approximately six trillion cubic feet.
“We expect that this bid round will continue in the same vein based on estimated unrisked prospective gas resources of 6.6 trillion cubic feet in the open deep-water blocks,” Young said.
He said an onshore competitive bid round will follow the deep water competitive bid round, adding that the recent successes onshore by Touchstone and Challenger Energy Group have served to confirm that great potential still exists onshore.
There has been significant interest in onshore acreage by both potential investors as well as current operators, Young said.
He said in July 2020, Heritage issued an EOI to global and local energy companies to express their interest in a joint venture to explore the deeper perspective of its north west district.
The minister said three IOCs were shortlisted and a preferred partner will be selected by the end of 2021.
“The ministry intends to build on such interest and will be offering several blocks in the onshore bid-round. Extensive 2D and 3D datasets and well data are available to enable the evaluation of the blocks,” Young added.
A Shallow Water Competitive Bid Round will follow the onshore competitive bid round and is targeted for 2022, he said.
In accelerating the exploration of its hydrocarbon potential T&T will be following in the footsteps of over 20 countries that have been promoting new exploration and production through licensing rounds and concluding new upstream petroleum contracts during 2020 and 2021.
Young also said that in parallel with the initiation of new exploration activity, T&T must also accelerate the development and production of identified 3P and contingent oil and gas resources.
He added that the latest audit of the crude oil reserves and resources undertaken by Netherland, Sewell and Associates, Incorporated and the natural gas reserves and resources audit undertaken by Ryder Scott established that T&T possesses substantial oil and gas resources.