TRINIDAD and TOBAGO — A bp and Shell consortium is near to striking an agreement with Trinidad and Tobago to explore three deepwater blocks in the Caribbean country, the companies said.
The deal would help Trinidad speed up offshore E&P to secure more natural gas to support its LNG and petrochemical industries.
"The consortium (Shell Trinidad and Tobago and bpTT) can confirm that they are close to finalizing negotiations with the government of Trinidad and Tobago relating to deepwater blocks offshore Trinidad and Tobago," bp and Shell spokespeople said.
The expected agreement comes almost nine months after Trinidad's government rejected bids originally submitted by the consortium for failing to meet minimum thresholds.
Shell and bp amended their original bids to include the drilling of at least three deepwater wells under a proposed minimum work program. The plan includes acquiring 3D seismic of the unexplored acreage, according to people familiar with the matter.
The parties have come to terms for exploring blocks 25a, 25b and 27. The consortium also submitted an offer for Block 23b but has not reached an agreement on that area with the government, they added.
The agreement is expected to be submitted to the country's Cabinet next week. The Office of the Attorney General also has to sign off on the deal before licenses can be awarded, the people said.
Shell and bp are the largest shareholders of Trinidad's Atlantic LNG export project, the largest in Latin America, which has an installed capacity of 15 MM metric tons per annum (mtpa). But it has been producing 10 mtpa due to insufficient gas supply.
Trinidad and Tobago's deepwater round closed in June last year after the government only received bids from the bp-Shell consortium on four of the 17 blocks on offer.