Ryder Scott: Trinidad and Tobago's proved gas reserves decline

Trinidad and Tobago’s proved natural gas reserves have fallen for yet another year, according to Houston-based consultant Ryder Scott.

Larry McHalffey, the firm’s senior petroleum engineer, told a news conference in Port of Spain recently that the Caribbean twin-island nation’s proved reserves declined to 13.46 tcf at yearend 2010 from 14.42 tcf in 2009. However, probable and possible reserves remain fairly stable at respective levels of 7.64 tcf and nearly 6 tcf.

McHalffey said the consultant audited the inventories and geological concepts of BP Trinidad & Tobago (BPTT), British Gas, BHP Billiton, Chevron Corp., EOG Resources, Centrica, Petrotrin, Repsol, and other open areas to reach its findings. McHalffey blamed the reduction in proved reserves on the lack of replacement through additional drilling.

He said the time will come when the operators will realize that they need more proved reserves to fulfill their contracted obligations.

Trinidad and Tobago’s newly appointed Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine noted that while there was no exploration drilling for gas in 2010, he expected by mid-2012 that exploration wells would be drilled on Blocks NCMA(2), NCMA(4), NCMA(3) and 4(b).

“It should be noted that the audit did not take these blocks into consideration, however technical work undertaken by the ministry indicate that the blocks may contain in excess of 5 tcf of gas and the ministry’s estimates are conservative compared to those of the companies awarded the blocks,” Ramnarine said.

He also expected large gas finds on deepwater Blocks 23(a) and TTDA 14, which have recently been awarded to BPTT. These two blocks are estimated to have 4.7-8.2 tcf of unrisked gas resources based on the ministry’s estimates.

Trinidad and Tobago has conducted annual gas audits since 2000 but has announced that starting next year, it will conduct these audits ever 3 years.

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