Trinidad and Tobago energy minister outlines LNG export changes

Trinidad and Tobago, a major LNG exporter in the Western Hemisphere, is changing its emphasis from spot sales to large Atlantic Basin customers to contracts with Caribbean and South American nations eager to move to gas from imported diesel and fuel oil for electricity generation, the country’s energy minister said.

“We like to think of ourselves as the Atlantic Basin’s LNG pioneer,” Kevin C. Ramnarine told an American Gas Association Natural Gas Roundtable breakfast. “But there’s no escaping the possibility that the United States, with its considerable shale gas resources, could become the region’s LNG export leader if it decides to.”

He noted that as recently as 3 years ago, 80% of Trinidad’s LNG cargoes went to US customers and the other 20% elsewhere. “That has flipped because of this country’s shale gas revolution, and we expect US demand for our LNG to eventually fall to zero,” Ramnarine said.

“At present, 15% of our cargoes go to the East—mainly China, Japan, and Korea,” he continued, adding that a much larger portion goes to South American customers. “Many countries’ balance of payments problems are due in part to their using higher-cost imported diesel and fuel oil to generate electricity,” he said.

Centrica PLC, the corporate parent of the privatized British Gas, has won the Trinidad and Tobago government’s approval to develop a front stream export project which would ship compressed natural gas in medium-sized tankers to Caribbean customers instead of LNG in larger vessels because natural gas conversion costs for CNG are lower, Ramnarine said.

Barbados pipeline

Barbados also has expressed interest in a gas pipeline from Trinidad, although it would have to be privately financed, he added.

Ramnarine said a major goal is widening the Panama Canal’s locks so LNG tankers can cross the isthmus. “That way, shipments could move east-to-west or west-to-east as needed,” he explained. “It would truly make LNG markets global.”

He predicted that gas prices overseas would remain tied to crude oil because production costs will inevitably climb as more gas is produced from unconventional formations. “We’ll have to wait to see what happens if the US becomes a major exporter,” Ramnarine said. “That wouldn’t happen for at least 3-4 years.”

He said gas is poised to become the fuel of the 21st century, just as oil was the fuel of 20th century and coal the fuel of the 19th century.

We are living in a golden age of gas, and the US is poised to become a major exporter, along with our country and Bolivia,” he indicated. “Its contribution could be even greater because its tight gas resources haven’t been fully defined.”

Ramnarine was in Washington for the Global Gas Council’s inaugural meeting Oct. 24-25 at the Organization of American States.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...

Woodside-led Browse FLNG venture enters FEED phase

07/01/2015 The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse LNG joint venture has entered the front-end engineering and design phase for a floating LNG (FLNG) developme...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...

USGS: Water usage for fracturing varies widely across shale plays

07/01/2015 The volume of water required to hydraulically fracture wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national analysis and map of ...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Forum extends study of subsea integrity

06/30/2015

Work by an industry forum called SURF IM Network, which studies oil and gas subsea integrity management, has been extended by 3 years.

White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected