Trinidad and Tobago to study tar sands viability

Trinidad and Tobago has awarded a license to Petroleum Co. of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. to explore tar sands at Parrylands-Guapo fields, which are thought to contain 2 billion bbl of oil.

Curtis Williams
OGJ Correspondent

PORT OF SPAIN, Mar. 10 -- Trinidad and Tobago has awarded a license to Petroleum Co. of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. to explore tar sands at Parrylands-Guapo fields, which are thought to contain 2 billion bbl of oil. The fields are just south of the La Brea Pitch Lake.

The country's Energy Minister Conrad Enill made the annoucement, adding that the twin-island Carribean nation was seeking new sources of oil from tar sands in an effort to maintain his country's oil revenues in light of sustained low oil prices.

Enill said the award would allow state-owned Petrotrin to quantify the exact size of the reserves and determine the amount of recoverable bitumen, including identifying the technology to extract the bitumen and produce synthetic crude.

The study also will look at environmental risks, including to local aquifers, and would determine the project's financial feasibility.

Enill said Trinidad and Tobago was trying to follow the Canadian model of extraction as has taken place in Alberta.

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