BHP Billiton Ltd. has reported that its LeClerc discovery in the deep water off Trinidad’s South East is a "large potential gas resource" that contains both natural gas and oil.
Geraldine Slattery, BHP’s asset president, conventional, told the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference that the discovery was the first in the Caribbean’s deep water. “We are very encouraged by the large potential gas resource found in the LeClerc in Block 5 with gas penetrating multiple horizons," she said.
“We are currently evaluating recoverable gas volume as well as conditions both above and below ground necessary to support the further appraisal of that potential,” she continued. “We were also very pleased to have oil shows in the deep of that well, a strong indication of a liquid hydrocarbon system which supports prospectivity for oil in the southern play.
“Testing new plays in the deep water Caribbean and around the world has historically taken more than one well to test and we remain very optimistic of a tier one play in Trinidad and will return to drilling in financial-year 2018,” Slattery said.
She added that if the appraisal went as well, it had the potential to hit the market in the near term in the early- to mid-2020s at a time when there is expected to be a gas shortfall in both LNG and in Trinidad and Tobago gas supply.
On May 28, 2016, BHP began to drill LeClerc with a target depth of 20,000 ft in which BHP was looking for three different sands—two gas-bearing and one with black oil. It was expected that the black oil would be below the gas and condensate and would have been seen at about 17,000 ft.
However, OGJ learned that at about 15,000 ft, the first gas sand was found and the second at about 16,000 ft. No oil sands were found, and when the drilling reached 18,000 ft, a request was made of the island’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources to drill beyond the original target depth
Slattery said BHP conducted a global endowment study in which it identified the deepwater off Trinidad and Tobago and its neighbors Barbados as having world class potential with world class source rock.
In an effort to pursue its aspirations for Tier 1 discoveries, the company bid, won, and farmed into a total of nine blocks in Trinidad and two in Barbados. It then collected 21,000 km of high-fidelity seismic.
Slattery explained that over the next 20 years BHP is expecting continued growth in energy demand and said the company did not see an oil price of $55-60/bbl as being sufficient to bring on major new supplies of crude oil.
She also predicted that natural gas prices at the Henry Hub will continue to rise to ensure that it met the economic cost of gas production in the US.