Matapal subsea infrastructure connecting to the Juniper platform in background. (Image courtesy bpTT)
CURTIS WILLIAMS

In some good news for the T&T energy sector bp Trinidad and Tobago LLC (bpTT) today announced that production has started from its  Matapal gas project earlier than expected.

When fully ramped up the development is expected to produce in the range of 250-350 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd).

The Matapal development is based on resources discovered by the Savannah exploration well, drilled in 2017 using at that time first is class ocean bottom cable and nodes seismic technology.

This is good news for T&T and bpTT which has seen plummeting production levels to the point where according to figures from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries its production was down to just over 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. This is just over half of the 2bcf/d the company produced on average for most of the last decade.

The decline in gas production by bpTT has been the major reason for the shortages being experienced by the country and  Matapal is expected to sure up production but not necessarily add to bpTT’s net production.

The company said the milestone was achieved ahead of schedule and under budget despite the constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matapal subsea manifold arriving in country. (Image courtesy bpTT)

Matapal is bpTT’s second subsea development. It’s comprised of three wells, which tie back into the existing Juniper platform, helping minimize development costs and the associated carbon footprint. It’s located approximately 80km off the south-east coast of Trinidad and approximately 8km east of Juniper, in a water depth of 163 metres.

Claire Fitzpatrick, president of bpTT, said:

“Natural gas will play an important role in the energy transition and to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago for decades to come. This is why our team at bpTT has worked diligently to safely start up our Matapal project which we successfully achieved both under budget and ahead of schedule. We are committed to a strong energy future in Trinidad and Tobago and this project plays a critical role in delivering that.”

Fabrication work on Matapal began in 2019. The project required modification to the existing Juniper platform as well as the construction and installation of new subsea equipment.

Importantly, the majority of fabrication work required to adapt the Juniper platform for new production was completed locally. Hydrocarbons from Matapal will be transported to the Juniper platform via two 9 km flexible flowlines.

With 15 offshore production platforms, bpTT is the country’s largest hydrocarbon producer, accounting for about 55% of the nation’s gas production.