Bids begin for oil and gas blocks in Trinidad

Jan 29, 2006 01:00 AM

by Driselle Ramjohn

Confident that there is still "a lot of oil and gas out there", new Energy Minister, Lenny Saith opened the competitive bidding round for onshore, nearshore and shallow marine blocks off the north and east coasts of Trinidad and Tobago.
Saith, in his first public address as minister since the resignation of Eric Williams, was speaking at the announcement of the bidding round at Hilton Trinidad in Port of Spain.

The bidding round is the sixth of its kind organised by the ministry and will involve bidding on 11 available blocks in the Combined Southern Basin onshore and nearshore South Coast Marine Area and the Shallow Marine acreage off the north and east coast of the country.
Leroy Mayers, permanent secretary, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries said, "Companies interested in conducting exploration and production operations in any of the blocks identified will be required to pay a pre-bid fee which shall entitle the prospective bidder to the requisite data package available at our offices."

"Application fee for the onshore/nearshore southern basin blocks is $ 150,000. This will allow bidders to bid for any or all of the onshore/nearshore blocks as they wish. The application fee for the offshore blocks is $ 50,000 per block," Mayers added. Bids are to be presented to the ministry by 4 pm on March 30.
Mayers said that the configuration of the onshore/nearshore blocks being offered is slightly more complex than usual in order to encourage exploration in both horizons. He added that bidders shall be required to submit a composite proposal comprising separate bids for both shallow and corresponding deep blocks.

Saith explained that the Government is looking at the acceleration of the pace of exploration in the gas and oil industry.
"The review of the production sharing contracts was necessary because of the high level of industry interest, as well as the need for the acceleration of exploration to identify additional natural gas resources to support LNG expansion and downstream natural gas based projects," the minister said.

He added that the intention is to secure oil and gas reserves to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding downstream industries and by extension, leverage growth of associated and non-associated industries.
The minister said that the country's 3P (Proved, Probable, Possible Reserves) oil resource base stands at 2,713 mm barrels of oil and the 3P natural gas resource stands at 34.868 tcf. From this new bidding round, Saith said he expects, "plenty bids, plenty money."

Source: The Trinidad Express
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