Trinidad, Australia oil firm join forces on project
Port of Spain – The Trinidad and Tobago government Tuesday said the Australia-based oil company, BHP remains an important partner in the energy sector here as it commemorated the drilling of the Broadside Exploration Well in Block within BHP’s Southern Deepwater Acreage.
“I have been following BHP’s deepwater exploration programme with great interest over the years and I am pleased to bear witness to some of the results of years of perseverance, commitment and investment on the part of BHP and its joint venture partners,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said at the news conference called to discuss the return of Invictus Deep Water Rig and the drilling of the BHP deep water Well Broadside 1.
Rowley said that the expenditure for the Broadside well alone is estimated at US$85 million. “Exploration, and especially deep water exploration, requires high capital investment. This is the nature of the business. And when difficult times befall us, we must adapt and persevere to make good on those investments.
“I am well aware that we are only part of the way there, and that even if there is a significant oil find, there may be other hurdles that stand between these discoveries and their commercialisation. The reality is that these challenges may be greater than the ones we have faced in the past, because of the fact that commercialisation in deepwater would be relatively new territory for us,” he told reporters.
But he said that as it has done in the past, Trinidad and Tobago has capitalised on its entry into new frontiers by adapting and learning quickly.
“This may be an opportunity for local companies and talent to upskill and become versed in deep water operations. I expect there will be the need for such skill and experience as we move with agility and sharp focus to develop the substantial hydrocarbon resources of the deep water.
“Ladies and gentlemen, today I would like to take the opportunity to reassure you that BHP remains an important partner for us in the energy sector, and that the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago remains committed to continuing our work with BHP, and all other stakeholders, for the benefit of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Rowley told reporters that the new initiative is also of interest to Barbados and that the island’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley was due to have been part of the event here.
He said that the venture is taking place close to the border of Barbados “and we do have some common interest with Barbados with respect to our cross border seismic work and we have advanced memorandum of understanding with Barbados which would permit this kind of work . . . to go on unimpeded by international boundaries”.
Rowley said in a changing global environment occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the demand for energy dropped historically low this year as a result of the imposition of travel restrictions and the rise of remote working.
“It would be exceedingly rare for our daily lives to remain unchanged after experiencing such a significant global event. The COVID-19 pandemic has activated a level of digitalization that we would not have been able to predict one year ago. Remote working may be something that is here to stay, which could change our transportation needs and how we consume energy.
“Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing energy landscape, many countries and companies reaffirmed their commitment to the energy transition, as well as the decarbonisation of the energy value chain, and the development of new low-carbon businesses.” (CMC)