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(Photo: TotalEnergies)

Energy giants ramp up operations in Caribbean basin

(Photo: TotalEnergies)

WITHIN the last month, global energy companies British Petroleum, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies have ramped up operations in their respective oil and gas fields following discoveries from prospecting activities.

Last Friday, British Petroleum Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) announced that it accomplished “first gas” from the Matapal subsea development located 80 kilometres off Trinidad’s south-east coast. The achievement was even more significant as first gas came seven months ahead of schedule while staying under budget, despite the constraints of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Maersk Developer has been extracting natural gas from the Matapal project (Photo: bpTT)

According to bpTT, Matapal should, in its initial stage of production, deliver 250–350 million standard cubit feet of natural gas per day, once all wells are fully ramped up.

“Gas from this project will be pooled with production from other bp fields to be used as feedstock for the country’s ammonia, methanol and LNG plants, as well as for power generation,” the company shared.

With 15 offshore production platforms, bpTT is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest hydrocarbon producer, accounting for about 55 per cent of the nation’s gas production.

Commenting on the extraction from Matapal, Claire Fitzpatrick, president of bpTT, said: “Natural gas will play an important role in the energy transition and to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago for decades to come… We are committed to a strong energy future in Trinidad and Tobago and this project plays a critical role in delivering that.”

In Guyana, ExxonMobil, along with its junior partners Hess Corporation and CNOOC, announced the discovery of 220 feet (67 metres) of net pay in high-quality hydrocarbons at the Pinktail well on the offshore Stabroek Block earlier this month.

(File photo)

The partners also indicated their post-appraisal findings at Turbot-1 and -2 wells.

“In addition to successful appraisal of the Turbot discovery, the Turbot-2 well encountered 43 feet (13 metres) of net pay in a newly identified, high-quality, hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoir separate from the 75 feet (23 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir pay encountered in the original Turbot-1 discovery well,” a release from ExxonMobil outlined.

According to Mike Cousins, senior vice-president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, the successful explorations have increased the discovered resources in the Stabroek block “and will generate value for both the Guyanese people and our shareholders”.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of Hess Corporation John Hess disclosed that in total, discovered recoverable resources in that block amount to over nine billion barrels of oil equivalent.

CEO of Hess Corporation John Hess (File photo)

“These discoveries are part of an extensive well programme in the Stabroek Block, utilising six drillships to test-play extensions and new concepts, evaluate existing discoveries and complete development wells for the Liza Phase 2 and Payara projects,” Cousins explained additionally.

At present, ExxonMobil and its partners are awaiting the arrival of the Liza Unity floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which departed Singapore earlier this month for Guyana. The joint venture will use the FPSO to kick-start its 2022 production programme at Liza Phase 2 development, where it anticipates output will reach approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day.

Meanwhile, the energy company has started drilling the Sapote-1 well located on the Canje Block, also offshore Guyana, according to rigzone.com.

ExxonMobil is the operator for the block with 35 per cent interest, while its partners TotalEnergies, JHI Associates, and Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas Inc own 35 per cent, 17.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent interests, respectively.

This is ExxonMobil’s third exploration in the Canje block after failing to find commercial-grade hydrocarbons at the Bulletwood-1 and Jabillo-1 wells. Drilling of the well, located approximately 140 miles north-east of Georgetown, should take up to 60 days.

In the neighbouring Suriname basin, TotalEnergies and its partner Apache Corporation have shared the findings of their appraisal of the Kwaskwasi-1 well, where they discovered hydrocarbons in July this year. The well encountered 912 feet (278 metres) of net oil and volatile oil/gas-condensate pay.

Signage for energy company Total SA (Photo: Reuters)

A news report from oedigital.com has quoted Apache’s CEO describing Kwaskwasi-1 as “the best well we’ve drilled in the basin to date, with the highest net pay in the best-quality reservoirs”.

At the same time, TotalEnergies and Apache have spudded their fourth well for this year, the Keskesi East-1 in Block 58. Both companies share equal interest in the block, with Apache as operator.