Trinidad and Tobago to solicit bids on deepwater blocks

Curtis Williams
OGJ Correspondent

PORT OF SPAIN, June 22 -- Trinidad and Tobago announced it will solicit bids on deepwater blocks before yearend. Director of Resource Management Helena Innis-King told a seminar in Port of Spain it is likely the bid round will occur in September.

Innis-King’s statement came before winners were announced in the previous deepwater bid round in which there were five bids on three blocks. She said block awards were delayed due to scheduling problems.

BP PLC bid on two of the three blocks, a consortium of BHP Billiton Ltd. and Repsol YPF SA bid on two blocks, and a consortium of BHP Billiton, Total SA, and Repsol YPF bid on one block as did Niko Resources Ltd.

Innis-King said the government is aware of uncertainty as to whether the southern blocks were oil or gas-prone. The operators appear to believe the southern deepwater blocks are likely to have gas rather than oil. None of the seismic data in the public domain have images of the Cretaceous, and therefore the burial history and hydrocarbon generation are open to broad interpretation.

She said the ministry possesses data that show the southern blocks are oil-prone. It will reprocess those data before making it available to companies.

The Caribbean twin-island nation said it will again call for nominations of deepwater blocks. There are 36 blocks for which nominations can be made, and companies will have to submit letters to the minister identifying the blocks nominated.

Each company may nominate up to five blocks, and all nominations will be treated as confidential commercial. Determination of blocks to be offered in another bid round will be made by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, with no obligations on the part of either party arising from the nominations.

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