Trinidad and Tobago’s government has hired UK-based consulting firm Poten & Partners to develop a natural gas master plan for the Caribbean twin-island nation. The decision to develop a plan comes as the country continues to suffer gas curtailment that the downstream petrochemical business says has cost $1.6 billion over the last 3 years.
Trinidad and Tobago’s gas shortages started with the decision of BP PLC to perform significant asset maintenance activities following its Macondo disaster in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and has continued even after the heightened maintenance has come to the an end. Trinidad and Tobago accounts for 17% of BP’s total production.
Trinidad and Tobago’s last Natural Gas Master Plan was conducted in 2001 and submitted in January 2002. The country’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said this was one of the most important studies to be conducted by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs as it will give more certainty to the companies that already operate in the energy sector as well as to future investors as to what are government’s medium-term plans for the gas sector.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Chamber has asked the consultants to consider the possibility of the island importing gas from Venezuela to meet the demands of the country’s gas based industries.
Trinidad and Tobago share at least three crossborder fields with an estimated 20 tcf of gas.
The Energy Chamber said in addition to the possibility of importing gas, it wanted the consultants to also consider increasing the value from the gas industry while volumes remain stable and gas imports and methods to have short-term storage of gas available to ensure supply if there are upstream production problems.