It is difficult to find industry successes in this worrisome energy climate but something that was recently overshadowed was Trinidad and Tobago’s increase in oil production and condensate production in 2014. Albeit a tiny increase, in 2014 the sector managed to generate the first year on year increase in oil production in almost 10 years.
At year’s end, on average Trinidad and Tobago generated 81,192 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and saw a high of 86,020 bpd in October 2014. Data received from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) indicates higher levels of production in early January 2015 as well and the average to date is just over 84,000bpd. The table below shows crude oil and condensate production from January to December 2014.
The success for Trinidad and Tobago’s oil production, is that it represents a stabilization of crude oil production. The graph below shows the average yearly production from 2000 to present.
The operator which was responsible for the greatest contribution to the increase in barrels of oil produced per day was bp TT, which increased their production on average by 2,098 bpd and represented an over 22% increase. Trinmar also increased their production by 689 bpd or about 3%. The other increases originated from Incremental Production Service Contracts (IPSC). These contracts increased by over 110% and coupled with Lease Ops, they generated an additional 1,217 bpd.
The graph above provides a snapshot of the year on year performance of Trinidad and Tobago crude oil producers between 2013 and 2014. Continued drilling activity helped push the production levels up in the latter part of the year. The gains of these activities are only now coming to the surface. The longevity of the production increases however, can be easily eroded if other companies reduce drilling activity. Petrotrin has already indicated cutbacks in drilling activity in 2015.
There is much work still to be done to fully adjust our industry to the current global reality and ensure that we are truly competitive. The Energy Chamber has been involved in in-depth discussion with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for a number of years to ensure that our upstream energy sector becomes more competitive and is able to continue to attract the very significant levels of capital investment needed to simply maintain reserves and production at current levels.