Shell delivers first gas from Barracuda block

Shell Energy House, the headquarters of Shell Trinidad and Tobago Ltd, at St Clair Avenue, St Clair. File photo -
Shell Energy House, the headquarters of Shell Trinidad and Tobago Ltd, at St Clair Avenue, St Clair. File photo -

Shell Trinidad and Tobago has announced the production of gas at the Barracuda block in east Trinidad.

The energy company said first gas at Barracuda was reached on July 18, and the estimated production for Barracuda represented 100 per cent total gross figures.

In a media release on Thursday, Shell said Block 5C in the East Coast Marine Area (EMCA), known as Project Barracuda, is a backfill project with approximately 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) or 140 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of sustained near-term gas production with peak production expected to be about 40,000 boe/d or 220 mmscf/d.

The Barracuda project comprises of two subsea wells, which are wholly owned by Shell — the Endeavour field and the Bounty field — which are both linked to Shell’s Dolphin platform.

According to Shell both wells are the deepest development wells, with Endeavour at a depth of 20,000 feet Bounty at 16,000 feet.

Director of integrated gas, renewable and energy solutions Maarten Wetselaar said the project signified a milestone in the delivery of gas domestically and internationally through Atlantic LNG.

He said, “Today’s announcement strengthens the resilience and competitiveness of Shell’s position in TT.”

“This is a key growth opportunity that supports our long-term strategy in the country as well as our global LNG growth ambitions.”

Shell is a major shareholder in Atlantic LNG, and equity in the Atlantic plant ranged from 46 per cent to 57.5 per cent in each of the four trains at the facility.

Senior vice president and country chair Eugene Okpere added that this project was Shell’s first greenfield project in the country, and one of its largest since the BG Group acquisition by Royal Dutch Shell plc.

“We are immensely proud of our people and the remarkable work it took to achieve this milestone, particularly given that drilling began in May 2020 during the covid19 pandemic.

“Our execution strategy had to be completely overhauled to deliver our business plan, all while working remotely. It required tremendous resilience, adaptability and commitment,” Okpere said.

The ECMA, Shell said, was one of the most prolific gas-producing areas in the country and was part of the company’s development strategy and was finding ways to access the significant volumes that exist in the ECMA and to bring it online.

Shell also added that first gas from Colibri project, a joint venture with Heritage Petroleum Company Limited, was expected in 2022.

Shell's announcement comes as it is in talks with Government and other Atlantic LNG shareholders – bpTT, China Investment Corporation and the National Gas Company– on the future of Atlantic's train one. Recently, reports suggested plans to decommission the plant but the Energy Ministry has said talks with shareholders are ongoing. Shell's production forecast signals a possible supply for train one which has been on a maintenance schedule since 2020 owing to a gas shortage.

Earlier this week, bpTT, the local subsidiary of British Petroleum, said it is unable to provide gas to train one after the disappointing results of exploration in the Columbus Basin in 2019, but assured it can deliver a supply for trains two, three and four.

One of the issues surrounding Atlantic LNG relates to the operational structure and shareholding of the Point Fortin-based facility, in which bpTT is the second largest shareholder.

Government has previously said train one would not be mothballed and there was the possiblity of sourcing a gas supply through NGC which has invested an estimated $250 million to $300 million to maintain its operations.


"Shell delivers first gas from Barracuda block"

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