T&T: 17 years of oil left

Apr 28, 2015 12:00 AM

Trinidad and Tobago has crude oil and condensate (proven, probable and possible) reserves to last approximately 17 years.

Reserves declined from 572.40 million barrels in 2007 to 508.42 in 2011.

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine in a statement to Parliament yesterday gave details of the audit of crude oil reserves of Trinidad and Tobago as at December 31, 2011.

The audit was done by petroleum consultants Netherland, Sewell and Associates Inc of Dallas, Texas, USA, and the primary objective was to prepare a certified statement of the country’s crude oil reserves in accordance with accepted industry standards.

Ramnarine said the results of the audit showed that proven reserves as at December 31, 2011 stood at 199.54 million barrels; probable reserves at 85.46 million barrels and possible reserves at 124.77 million barrels.

“Therefore the 3P crude oil figure with proven plus probable plus possible reserves was 409.77 million barrels,” he said.

Ramnarine said the country’s condensate reserves, which are associated with natural gas production, were evaluated in the annual natural gas reserves audits conducted by Ryder Scott Company and at year-end 2011 showed proven reserves were 43.45 million barrels, probable reserves were 24.39 million barrels and possible reserves were 30.83 million barrels. The 3P (proven, probable and possible) condensate figure was therefore estimated by Ryder Scott Company to be 98.67 million barrels.

“When you add the country’s 3P crude and condensate figures together we get 508.42 million barrels as at December 31, 2011.

Given the stringent parameters used in the audit these are very conservative numbers. At a rate of 30 million barrels of oil and condensate per year, which is where we are right now, the reserves to production ratio, using the 3P numbers is approximately 17 years,” Ramnarine stated.

He said from the 2007 audit which was done by Ryder Scott, the 3P oil and condensate reserves of the country were 572.40 million barrels.

“It should be noted therefore that the total crude oil and condensate figure declined by 63.98 million barrels or 11 per cent between the 2007 and 2011 audits,” he said. Ramnarine said the consultants also estimated Exploration Resources, which are those quantities of petroleum which are estimated to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations and which represent exploration opportunities.

He said the high estimate of exploration resources in 2011 was 924.5 million barrels (811.5 million barrels of oil plus 113 million barrels of condensate). “This shows that there is significant remaining potential for new oil production,” Ramnarine said.

He added that this evaluation did not include any of the deepwater blocks as these had not been licensed as at December 31, 2011.

“According to the in-house estimates of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs the potential of the deepwater for oil resources range from 2.2 billion to 8.2 billion barrels of oil initially in place,” Ramnarine stated.

The minister also noted that there were no major discoveries of crude oil between 2007 and 2011.

“However from 2012 to 2014 there were four major discoveries of oil. These included the Petrotrin Jubilee discovery, the Bayfield EG8 discovery, the Trinity TGAL 1 discovery and the Repsol Teak Bravo North discovery. These discoveries...would inform the next audit which will be conducted in the first quarter of 2016 and will look at crude oil reserves as at December 31, 2015,” Ramnarine stated.

He said based on the above results there was a need for Trinidad and Tobago to aggressively continue to encourage exploration as well as appraisal and development drilling so that exploration resources can be moved to the proven reserve category.

This requires investment, and investors require a fair return on capital employed, he said.

He added that the audit also indicated that more acreage needs to be made available to potential investors.

“The future of the petroleum industry is bright given that we are yet to realise the significant potential of the deepwater for which plans are now in place, the full potential of land for which plans are now in place, the potential that could be had from the development of heavy oil resources and the potential that could be realised through investments in enhanced oil recovery techniques,” Ramnarine said.

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