Positives coming from bid round, says energy expert

Energy consultant Gregory McGuire. -
Energy consultant Gregory McGuire. -

ENERGY expert and chairman of the TT Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI), Gregory McGuire, said there are positives to be taken from the shallow-water competitive bid round.

The bid rounds opened on October 3, 2023, and concluded on Monday, in a closing ceremony held at the Energy Ministry's offices at Tower C, Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain.

McGuire said one of the positives coming out of the bid rounds was that companies already established here and familiar with TT's geology were the companies that bid.

“Even though they have a whole international portfolio with a list of places which they could be interested in pumping money to look for more oil and gas, they have chosen TT,” McGuire added.

He said at least one of the blocks, Block U (c), was of particular interest to the companies as they all bid on it.

On Monday, bp Exploration, Shell, through its subsidiary BG International Ltd and EOG, made a total of six bids on four blocks out of a total of 13 shallow water blocks.

Aside from Block U (c), EOG also bid on the NCMA 4 (a) block off Tobago’s western shores and the Lower Reverse L block, located in the waters off TT’s southeast peninsula.

BpTT also bid on NCMA 2, located in Tobago's waters.

The blocks bid on were all located near blocks with existing infrastructure, a fact that was noted by Energy Minister Stuart Young in his closing remarks at the end of the bid round.

Young said bidders will be evaluated on a point system. These evaluations are to be conducted by a technical evaluation team, comprising of senior officials of the Energy Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Office of the Attorney General.

Successful bidders will be issued a production-sharing contract for an initial period of eight years.

If the successful bidders make a discovery, they may receive renewed contracts for a term of 25 years. Successful bids will be announced in four months.

Young said an audit of non-associated natural gas resources indicated that, at the end of 2022, proven reserve technically recoverable resources amounted to 11.5 tcf and prospective resources on an unrisked basis amounted to 56.9 tcf. The 13 blocks had a total unrisked resource pool of about 13.4 tcf.

Young reiterated the government’s determination to extract “every molecule” and “every drop” of natural gas and oil in TT’s territories.

However, he also noted the nation’s commitment to transitioning to cleaner energy, with clean energy initiatives being taken to Cabinet.

“I intend to go to Cabinet shortly with a request for proposals for another utility-scale solar project as we continue to build our renewable resources and energy sector," he said.

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"Positives coming from bid round, says energy expert"

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