There is good news for Trinidad and Tobago, as the country’s natural gas reserves slightly improved in 2018 although almost 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas (tcf) was produced last year.
This is one of the major findings of the Ryder Scott gas audit which were released yesterday.
The report showed that in 2018, natural gas production increased from 1.14 tcf of gas to 1.261 tcf of gas. As a result, based on current production and should no additional gas be found, the country has 10 years of gas based on its proven natural gas reserves.
“We have roughly 10 to 11 years. That is why the exploration effort and the development and the seismic acquisition, and the geological studies must run concurrently with the production operations. That is what successful energy companies do. We have some of the best exploration and production operators internationally here in T&T,” Energy Minister Franklin Khan said at the launch of the gas audit report presented by Ryder Scott at the Ministry of Energy, Tower C, International Waterfront, Port-of-Spain.
Ryder Scott has been presenting independent reports for the country since 2000.
Khan also said the curtailment of gas production is being reduced.
“The figure that we are striving at is 4 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas per day. We are currently at 3.7 or 3.8 BCF. One of the things that you have to realise in production is that the decline rates are very high. It is an intricate balance of resources and reserves," Khan said.
"However, we are in a position where the curtailment is being reduced and hopefully when the other projects come on stream in 2021 and 2022 gas curtailment will be a thing of the past.”
He added that the fiscal packages for the upstream operators are quite attractive and so there is no need to provide additional incentives at this time.
Khan said although T&T’s oil production is small compared to large international producers, he hopes there could be big oil finds in the future.
“For T&T, oil is still a better business than gas because oil has certain advantages. It is just that the basin was giving us more gas than oil. But all the gas fields we found in the east, we were looking for oil. I would love to find a big oil field in the Gulf of Paria or onshore Trinidad. We have a plan to put that into place in the not too distant future.”
He also said the Ryder Scott Report is probably the most important report that is presented in the country annually because of its importance for the country’s economic future.
“There is no other report produced for this country that is more important than this. In a very real sense, this country’s future is largely dependent on what the Ryder Scott Report says.”
Based on the findings of the report, he said T&T’s long term future in the gas sector is well secured.
Ryder Scott Executive Vice President Herman Acuna, who presented the report, said that gas production had been rising last few years.
“Last few years production has been increasing, which is the highest it has been for the last three years. The lion's share that has contributed to this production is from BPTT with 61 per cent of that production. In general, the production share has been very steady between the different operators.”
He added that there must be a sustainable level of proved reserves to sustain the business in the gas sector.
According to the report, in 2018 the proved reserves were 10,526 BCF while in 2017 they were 10,515 BCF.
“The proved reserves improved by 6 per cent in 2018. Production in 2019 was 1.26 TCF of gas,” Acuna said.