BHP Billiton: Trinidad and Tobago deep water could contain top-tier prospect

The deep water offshore Trinidad and Tobago represents the possibility of a “Tier 1” prospect for BHP Billiton Petroleum (BHPB), David Rainey, president of exploration, told delegates early last week at the annual Trinidad & Tobago Energy Conference hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain.

Rainey said BHPB defines a Tier 1 prospect as a petroleum system that has at least 5 billion bbl of oil in place and is able to deliver at least 100,000 boe/d to the company.

Rainey said the company recently completed a seismic acquisition campaign in its deepwater acreage. He showed a cross-section of the seismic survey, calling attention to the first prospect—Le Clerc—which is a very large geological structure that BHPB suspects could be oil-prone based on the results of a piston core test.

Rainey said, “That red patch at the top of the structure likely indicates the presence of hydrocarbons. It doesn’t say anything about the type of hydrocarbon, or the thickness or quality of the reservoir, but it is certainly an encouraging observation.”

BHPB plans to drill two wildcats with the possibility of a third well, depending on results of the first two wells, Rainey said. Each well will cost $100-200 million to drill.

Rainey explained that the decision to pursue seven deepwater blocks offshore Trinidad and Tobago is because the company believes it has a good chance of making Tier 1 finds.

“We are not looking for one-off opportunities. We are looking for opportunities we can explore for a decade, and produce for half a century,” Rainey said.

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