THE MINISTRY of Energy received just three bids for its competitive bid round for shallow water.
The bid boxes were unlocked yesterday at the ministry at, Tower C, International Waterfront Complex in Port of Spain.
Of the six blocks up for bid, only three received bids – a single bid each.
The sole bidder in each instance was a BPTT/Shell consortium.
Energy Minister Franklin Khan acknowledged that the bid round wasn’t as successful as he hoped.
“It could have been better,” he said, noting that these blocks were previously relinquished and conventional wisdom has them rated as marginal.
TT also has an energy industry that is over a century old, so many of these shallow water (near coast) fields are mature.
“From a technical perspective, the blocks couldn’t attract new international players. We were left with our base of international companies already operating in TT – which are the best in any event.”
He said he didn’t really expect much interest in Block 1(b) in the Gulf of Paria, and the only bidder would have been new natural-gas producer De Novo, but “they did not see it fit to bid.” He expected bids for the north coast marine acreages (NCMA-2 and NCMA-3), since Shell operates NCMA-1.
The blocks that did get bids were all off the east and south eastern coasts, and had been relinquished by EOG.
“I was hoping to have two separate bids from Shell and BP, but they decided strategically to go in as a consortium,” he said.
Even though they were the only bids, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the BPTT/Shell consortium will be approved. The ministry still has to assess the bids and Khan said that process had been scheduled to be completed in six months, but because it’s just three bids, he expected it to be over much sooner.
The bid round was opened last November, and ran for six months.
This was the first shallow-water bid round since 2010. The last bid round was for deep water in 2014.
The minister announced that there will be another deep-water bid round next year.