BHP scores big deepwater gas success

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BHP Billiton’s successful brand-new offshore drilling exploration has been hailed as a positive development for Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector.

The company announced natural gas success in the deepwater LeClerc well, some 135 miles off the east coast of Trinidad.

The well, some 22,876 feet deep, encountered gas in “multiple zones,” the company said.

Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said the success “gives encouragement for the remainder of the eight-well exploration campaign.”

Ramnarine noted that the exploration campaign is the largest in the history of T&T and was predicated on nine production sharing contracts.

The contracts were signed between 2012 and 2014 when Ramnarine was Energy Minister.

They led to the second largest 3D seismic survey in the history of T&T’s oil and gas industry, of 20,199 square kilometers.

BHP Billiton’s President of Petroleum Steve Pastor said he was “encouraged by the results” of the first well in the T&T exploration campaign.

Pastor said the results will help the company to further appraise the basin as part of its extensive T&T program.

BHP Billiton holds a 65 per cent share in the deepwater block; Shell owns the remaining 35 percent.

The company is contractually obligated to drill a second exploration well in that block.

Ramnarine said the success “lend to cautious optimism.”

He said that BHP Billiton is “fortunate to have an excellent leadership team in Trinidad and Tobago.’

Pastor said that over the next three years, the company would focus its exploration efforts in T&T, the Gulf of Mexico and potentially western Australia.

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