Energy giant British Petroleum (BP) maintains it is unable to supply natural gas for train one, the oldest of the four trains at the Atlantic LNG facility in Point Fortin. It, however, is focussed on being able to supply gas for trains two, three, four and the National Gas Company (NGC).
In a statement on Monday, bpTT said it continues to be in talks with the Government and the other shareholders of Atlantic LNG – Royal Dutch Shell, China Investment Corporation and NGC – on ways to improve the operations of the Atlantic and its plants.
In terms of gas supply the company restated the impact of its 2019 infill drilling programme. In May 2020, it reported "disappointing results" in the Columbus Basin would affect production, especially in that year and 2021. The company said then there would be challenges to the gas supply to train one – which began operations in 1999.
On this, it said on Monday, "...we have since refocused our production operations on maximising production from our existing fields in the short-term, actively taking measures to offset natural declines. Even though these factors helped production at the beginning of 2020, natural declines continue to be a challenge as we manage our gas deliverability for 2021.
"While we continue to progress our Matapal and Cassia C projects, the volumes from these developments will be put towards fulfilling our existing contractual obligations for Trains 2, 3, 4 and NGC."
Last week, the company announced the arrival of the drilling platform for the Cassia C field, off the east coast of Trinidad, from Mexico.
On Monday, it also said it was not in a dispute with Shell, the majority shareholder of Atlantic, as reported by a media house on Monday.
The statement said, "bp been working closely with the other Atlantic LNG shareholders and the Government to explore the restructuring of Atlantic LNG as we believe it offers an opportunity to improve operating efficiency and commercial alignment. Contrary to what has been reported by one media organisation, there is no “ongoing fight” between bp and the majority shareholder of Atlantic LNG."
"It is our goal to arrive at an outcome that improves value to the country while ensuring we have a competitive energy sector that can continue to attract the investments required to keep the production profile needed to satisfy downstream and LNG demand."
The future of train one has been in doubt since the plant was idled and put on a maintenance schedule in 2019, and recently there have been renewed reports that it would be mothballed. It was also reported that NGC had an invested an estimated $250 million to keep train one operational when the other shareholders didn't contribute any financing to the effort.
On Saturday, the energy ministry, in response to reports that train one is to be de-commissioned, said Government had been in talks with stakeholders for months, and discussions were at a sensitive stage.
“The Government and the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) have ensured that Atlantic is preserved in the best position to allow all options with respect to its future to be available whilst these discussions are ongoing,” the ministry said.
The ministry defended NGC's investment to keep the plant running saying it had sourced a reliable gas supply.
“At all times NGC has acted to protect the rights and position of the citizens of TT.”
The ministry also said it was committed to working assiduously to ensure the future supply of gas for TT.