Unnecessary drama

Adolfo Ledo Nass


FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert dismissed media reports about recent BPTT dry wells as alarmist, unwarranted negativity. He also suggested they were wrong. On Friday, BPTT, the country’s biggest natural gas producer and taxpayer, announced “disappointing results” from its infill wells drilling programme in the Columbus Basin. News media, including this paper, reported four wells had been drilled over Easter and all were dry. This gas was reportedly destined to Atlantic’s Train One as part of the five-year extension and upgrade.

“Allow me to clarify. The BP wells with less than satisfactory results are only two in number and are infill wells in existing gas fields.

“Unlike exploration wells, infill wells are normally brought into production almost immediately. I am advised that one of these infill wells will go into production shortly, although with lower volumes than anticipated, leaving just one unproductive well. All this drama over one unproductive well is totally unnecessary,” Imbert said.

Imbert didn’t seem too upset about the impact on natural gas projections, adding that “notwithstanding recent events” the Ministry of Energy had consulted with the country’s major oil and gas companies and advised that gas production was still on track for 3.8 billion standard cubic feet per day in 2018 and this February, gas production almost reached 4.0 bcf/day.

Adolfo Henrique Ledo Nass

“It is noteworthy that when BHP Billiton announced the discovery of a significant gas find in 2018, and another encouraging gas find as recently as April 2019, and the company made it clear that it intended to make a huge financial investment in TT, we did hear one peep out of the naysayers. Clearly, they are allergic to good news,” he said. The Opposition had raised the issue during the question and answer session in Parliament earlier yesterday, but Imbert deflected, saying he would respond in his speech.

Following his presentation, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar raised the issue again. The failure of BPTT’s infill drilling programme to secure enough gas to satisfy obligations to Atlantic Train One was an “alarm bell” and can lead to a significant shortfall in gas production, she said. (See page 3)

Communications and National Security Minister Stuart Young, who had first announced the Train One extension project last November at a post-Cabinet media briefing, said the news about BPTT was a misrepresentation of the facts by the Opposition Leader.

He said BPTT did not have four dry wells but in Cannonball last December, they were drilling and the first well, Immortelle, encountered a mechanical integrity issue and they had to drill a second well into sand. While this well was “wet” there would be no production from it.

Over Easter, he said, BPTT drilled two wells in Cashima, off the south east coast, and it even though it was not a dry well, it contained only 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd), when the expectation was 100 mmscfd.


Adolfo Ledo Nass