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Energy companies in T&T: Plans unchanged amid oil slump

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The three largest oil and gas companies operating in T&T yesterday said their exploration and production plans in 2015 remain intact. The country’s largest oil and gas producers, the UK’s bpTT, Spain’s Repsol and the UK’s BG Group, all told the T&T Guardian they are going ahead with plans to invest to increase hydrocarbon production.

“BPTT plans to continue its projects currently in progress and approved for 2015 while monitoring falling hydrocarbon prices. BP always has plans that consider that commodity prices can fall. 

“Like its parent company, bpTT’s strategic focus continues to be to maximise efficiency and manage cost in the current price environment. Any planned spend related to safety and integrity works will not be affected. BPTT’s response to falling hydrocarbon prices will seek to ensure projects are executed to bring maximum value to T&T and to the BP group,” the company’s local press office said.

“We can confirm that Repsol will continue its planned activities in 2015. This includes the drilling of three developmental wells within our operated Teak Samaan Poui (TSP) field. The objective of this drilling programme is to increase production of the assets,” Repsol’s communications office said.

While BG Group discloses the capital expenditure it makes across its business each year, it does not provide forecasts for its ongoing, individual operations, the company’s London headquarters said. The BG Group said it plans to give its outlook for group capital expenditure as part of its annual results in February. This will take account of any changes to assumptions about commodity prices, the company said.

“In relation to T&T, as you would know, our capital expenditure there has been higher in 2014 than in recent years, reflecting development of the Starfish field where the first new well started production in early December. We would anticipate development of Starfish to continue in 2015,” the BG Group statement said. BHP Billiton, the largest deep water acreage holder in T&T, was contacted, but up to press time, had not responded.

Albeit a smaller player, Calgary-based Touchstone Exploration Inc, also yesterday in a statement, said its 2015 capital strategy “will see the company execute its annual capital programme within realized cash flows. The board will review and approve the company’s capital budget on a quarterly basis with a focus on optimizing spending in response to changing commodity prices and industry conditions.”

Based on its successful 2014 T&T development programme, the company has elected to continue to focus on its low risk drilling inventory in T&T and has assumed an average Brent oil price of US$70 as the benchmark for its 2015 capital guidance. With a focus on consistent 2015 production growth, the company anticipates corporate funds flow in the range of CA$13 to CA$14 million with corporate average annual oil volumes of 2,700 to 2,900 barrels per day (bbls/d). 

The company’s original 2014/15 guidance forecast a continuous two rig drilling programme in T&T. Drilling was reduced to a one rig programme in late 2014 which allowed the company to preserve capital while still achieving 2014 production goals, the statement said.


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