T&T launches deep-water bid round

Bid round: six block up for auction in Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago's 2012 deep-water bid round for six oil and gas blocks began on Monday with strong international interest, from international oil and gas companies, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said.

Ramnarine said the bid round, which closes at the end of July, carries "the hope and future of the national energy sector" as there is major potential for hydrocarbon discoveries in the marine acreages off the northeast and eastern coast of the twin-island Caribbean state, Reuters reported.

The blocks, located in water depths of between 2000 and 11,500 feet (600 and 3,500 metres) were also close to proven oil and gas fields. A government-commissioned study also showed reservoirs in the deep waters containing significant quantities of oil and gas.

The official launch of the bid round followed a series of road shows that saw 22 nominations already registered by international oil and gas companies, Ramnarine told the news wire.

The state energy company, Petrotrin, has embarked on an aggressive drilling campaign to locate sources of oil to boost the country's declining production, which fell to 85,000 barrels of oil per day this year down from 145,000 bpd in 2000.

A 2010 gas audit conducted by US-based Ryder Scott also showed that the country's proven reserves dropped to 13.4 trillion cubic feet from 14.4 Tcf in 2009 and 15.4 Tcf in 2008.

Last month, Petrotrin announced an offshore find estimated at 48 million barrels of light and heavy crude. Bayfield Energy also announced it struck oil and gas in its Galeota Licence, off the southeast coast of Trinidad.

Ramnarine said a number of companies will drill 14 exploration wells and carry out six seismic programmes during the year.

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