Trinidad and Tobago’s deepwater bid round draws lackluster response

Trinidad and Tobago’s latest deepwater bid round failed to attract significant interest with four of the six blocks on offer not receiving any bids while the other two blocks attracted a total of three bids.

Australian outfit BHP Billiton continued its aggressive interest in the Caribbean twin-island nation’s deepwater acreage with bids on Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area 3 (TTDAA(3)) and TTDAA(7). BHP Billiton submitted joint bids with BG Group for Blocks TTDAA(3) and TTDAA(7). Spain’s Repsol submitted a bid for Block TTDAA(3).

Blocks TTDAA(7) and TTDAA(3) are just east of Blocks TTDA(5) and TTDAA(6), two other deepwater blocks acquired by BHP Billiton in 2013. BHP Billiton, which operates Angostura field offshore the island’s eastern coast, has already signed four production-sharing contracts for deepwater blocks.

Like Angostura, the deepwater blocks also are offshore the island’s eastern coast but not on the continental shelf like Angostura and are in unexplored waters.

The Trinidad and Tobago government had opened the bid round on Aug. 17, 2013, and closed it on Mar. 28. The successful bidders will be expected to negotiate a PSCs with the island’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs.

The acreage offered a mix of water depths, hydrocarbon play-types, and production potential. Risk assessment in all of the blocks was facilitated by previously acquired 2D and 3D seismic data, well penetrations and the proximity of these blocks to known hydrocarbon pools and production.

However Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said the government will pause to do more surveys “to give us more data on what we have out there.”

Ramnarine said a decision on the award of the two blocks will be made by June 30.

Ramnarine said he knows the process sounds long, but it is actually very short, considering the process next goes to a committee, which reports to the minister, who reports to Cabinet, who approves it to go for PSC negotiation. “This will likely be our last deepwater bid round for 2014 and 2015,” he said.

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