Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young right and Shell Trinidad and Tobago Senior Vice President and Country Chair Eugene Okpere left signing of the Manatee Production Sharing Contract,(PSC) at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad looking on are Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley centre and Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited GM Commercial Stephane Picarle.

Curtis Williams

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Shell Trinidad and Tobago and the government have signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the development and production of natural gas from the massive Manatee field.

This is the first PSC signed by the Keith Rowley administration since it came to power over six years ago and is expected to lead to the production of up to 700 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day (mmscf/d).

Speaking on Wednesday at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Rowley said the signing was an example of government’s commitment to securing gas for both the petrochemical and LNG sectors.

Rowley said; ” Today’s event is the culmination of the negotiations between the Ministry and Shell and the subsequent approval by Government. It signifies this Government’s ongoing commitment and action to meet domestic natural gas requirements and our resourcefulness in overcoming obstacles.”

He added, ” The Production Sharing Contract for sub-block 6d (Manatee) is for a period of 25 years. Preliminary estimates indicate that natural gas production could start as early as 2025, with an initial production of up to 350 mmscf per day, before ramping up to as much as 700 mmscf per day. In considering our current proven reserves of natural gas and the size of the many discoveries of new fields the significance of this development will be fully appreciated in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the last two years have been difficult for the downstream and LNG sectors due to reduced gas production which he blamed on the Covid19 pandemic.

“The last two years in the domestic energy sector have been challenging but we are slowly recovering. We had turned the corner when covid-19 pandemic struck. This had the effect of dampening upstream activity which resulted in the delay in the implementation of new upstream projects and as a consequence a reduced gas supply. Both the downstream and LNG were impacted.”Argued Rowley.

He noted that overall gas supply and international market conditions saw a number of petrochemical plants being taken offline, and said Train 1 was negatively impacted and again insisted the shareholders of Atlantic are engaged in discussions with a view to making a determination of the future of Train 1 by the end of the first quarter calendar year 2022.