An interesting story has been making the rounds of the news recently, about a recent audit of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas reserves that showed a sharper than expected drop.
The article continues….
Government is encouraging energy companies to pursue an aggressive exploratory programme in deep water, as well as land and near shore areas to ensure that new supplies of gas are found to meet the huge of a new model of downstream industries which will include petrochemicals, plastics and metals.
This is interesting given that Trinidad’s claimed territorial area has been greatly reduced by the recent UNLOS decision. The graphic below show’s what Trinidad claimed as it’s border before Barbados took the matter to the UN.
The orange line in the gray area shows the border claimed by Trinidad during the arbitration. The graphic below shows the Maritime space that Trinidad has after the UN decision.
It’s fairly clear that the Maritime space has been significantly curtailed by the UNLOS decision. What this means is that the potential areas for exploration have been significantly reduced. This begs the question, precisely how much Gas does Trinidad have in reserve? At one point projections were for 20 years, some opposition figures have placed the figure as low as 9 years (however it should be stressed that this interpretation is open to debate).
Small wonder that the IMF in it’s recent Article IV consultation urged the Port of Spain Government to diversify it’s economy away from petroleum. It’s also not clear how this information affects the proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline between Barbados and Trinidad.
The billion dollar question is…. How much time does Trinidad have before it runs out of gas?