Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Khan on BP's renewables push: T&T still ‘comfortable’ in short-term

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Franklin Khan, said although BP has made a decision to reduce oil production, he believes Trinidad and Tobago will be assured of investment in the short term.

In a statement, BP said it will increase investment in “low carbon energy”, which include renewable electricity generation as well as development of nascent hydrogen, biofuel, and carbon capture industries. 

Speaking to reporters following a media briefing on the country’s 2018 crude oil audit results, Khan said that the situation must be monitored, however, due to the country’s already established oil and gas infrastructure there is still likely to be investment within the next two-to-five years:

‘BP has taken a position that they want to be a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050 or earlier. So they have had a major strategy shift. However in the short to medium term they’ll have to keep investing in hydrocarbon assets, because you do not run a company without cash and the component of the business that generates that is oil and gas.

‘But having said that, they have made a shift. They have said that the competition for capital will be more intense. They taken a decision not to get involved in any green field exploration projects and possibly any wildcat exploration in existing countries. But, Trinidad and Tobago, in the short-term, has been largely untouched.’

‘We are fortunate today that we have such an advanced infrastructure that to develop smaller fields on the periphery of existing production is not as expensive as going into greenfield areas.

‘I think based on this scenario we are operating, we will continue to win capital injection into BPs and Shell’s, in particular, asset base in Trinidad and Tobago.’

‘There is a risk we have to continue to manage. The game is changing and Trinidad and Tobago will have to change with it. But in the short-term, which, I would say two-to-five years I think we (will be) certainly relatively comfortable.’

Khan: Solar plant will fulfil Paris Agreement

Khan said the country is also making efforts to fulfil their commitment to the Paris Agreement with the establishment of a 150 megawatt solar power plant.

Khan government recently signed an agreement with Lightsource BP and Shell for the construction of a 150 megawatt solar power plant, which would represent 10 percent of the countrys total power generation capacity, bringing the country within compliance of their commitment to the Paris Agreement.

‘By that project, we would be within full compliance. However having said that I personally think that 10 percent is not sufficient and in the new term…on the 11th, we will focus on pushing that envelope on renewables and zero-carbon energy.’

He said however the reality is that most of T&T’s revenue is based on oil and gas.

‘When all is said and done natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the few countries in the world that generates 100 percent of its electricity from natural gas. We are not where we want to be but I think we are not as bad as most people think.’

700 percent increase in Prospective Resources

In a presentation on the country’s reserves, Khan said Prospective Resources have increased by 773 percent due to Deepwater oil leads identified in blocks operated by BHP.

Khan said the best estimate of Unrisked Prospective Resources is now 3.2 million barrels, a result of BHP and Shell processing and interpreting prospects identified in the Southerly Deepwater Blocks of TTDAA 3, TTDAA 5 and TTDAA 6.

Khan said with the Invictus drillship now in transit to Trinidad and Tobago from the Gulf of Mexico to drill the Broadside prospect, ‘a commercial discovery in any of its several stacked Miocene targets, would de-risk the prospective resources identified by NSAI significantly and be very good news for Trinidad and Tobago’.

Other achievements listed were as follows:

  • BHP’s Block 3a Ruby field approval will add 15,000 bopd in 2022,
  • Trinmar’s addition of the Mobile Offshore Production and Compression Unit (MOPU) to add approximately 1,840 bopd  for 2019/2020. 
  • The Coho and Cascadura discoveries made in the Ortoire Block operated by Touchstone.
  • The Barakat discovery was made in the Rio Claro Block operated by Lease Operators Limited
  • The Saffron oil discovery was made by Columbus Energy in April.
  • The 2020 DeepWater Nomination Period is almost completed.

Khan added that the Year End 2019 Trinidad and Tobago Natural Gas Reserves Audit Report is in final draft form and will be completed in a matter of a week or two.

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