The Manatee gas field could produce natural gas for TT within five years, the Prime Minister told the House of Representatives in a statement on Friday. His statement came after the recent shelving of a deal for TT to buy gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Field because of US sanctions against that country.
Manatee's "significant reserves" will boost gas supply to the Point Lisas industrial estate and help remedy curtailment, he said.
“It is projected that gas production could commence in the 2025 period, at rates ranging from 270-400 million cubic feet per day.”
While US sanctions on Venezuela have thwarted TT’s plans for Chevron (a US firm) to jointly exploit the cross-border Loran-Manatee gas field, TT can now more quickly produce gas from its Manatee field under a new deal which replaces the previous unitisation treaty, Dr Rowley said.
“Shell has agreed to accelerate. Shell must ask the minister to start negotiations for the development of the Manatee field.”
Rowley said Shell must also prepare a budget and work plan for the line minister. Shell is a Dutch firm unrestrained by US sanctions on Venezuela.
The PM saw TT’s separation of the Manatee field from the joint field as a likely precedent for other TT-Venezuela cross-border gas fields, namely Manakin-Cocuina and Kapok-Dorado, together reckoned to hold 0.85 tcf or 850 billion cubic feet.
Rowley said the Loran-Manatee field has gas reserves of 10.07 trillion cubic feet (tcf), of which 2.71 tcf belongs to TT and 7.35 tcf belongs to Venezuela.
Based on a recovery factor of 69 per cent, he said TT can expect to produce up to 1.872 tcf and Venezuela 5.076 tcf.
He said a re-determination may be done one to three years after first gas by either party, to adjust estimates of the volumes of gas in place, the share to each party and the assumed recovery factor.
Rowley said the dragon deal was “still on” but was stymied by US trade restrictions, although any ultimate outcome will benefit the people of both nations. He said after 20 years of trying to develop the Loran-Manatee field with little progress, by necessity TT has found a way to get gas flowing by partnering with a major oil/gas firm. He said his Government wants neighbourly cooperation in a zone of peace and prosperity.
At a media briefing later, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar advised all to not their breath for gas to arrive by 2025. She said the Opposition had objected to granting extra time for Rowley to make his statement because each week in the House the Opposition is not allowed to debate definite matters of urgent public importance. Recalling a Cabinet minister telling the House, "What Trump could do we?" the Opposition Leader said the failed dragon deal now showed exactly what Trump could do.