T&T has a mature energy sector and is a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products. Crude oil is either exported or processed at the country’s refinery. Average production of crude oil in 2015 was 71,487 bpd. The present refining capacity is 160,000 b/d.
Gas-based activities span the entire gas value chain. Natural gas is exported as LNG and is used locally in the manufacture of petrochemicals mainly for export, in power generation, in heavy and light industry and compressed for use as motor vehicle fuel.
Historically crude oil production and refining were the dominant energy activities. Crude oil was discovered in 1857 and commercial production began in 1908. The first significant use of natural gas was for power generation at the Penal Power Plant in 1953 and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of ammonia by Federation Chemicals Ltd in 1959.
Over the last four decades, natural gas production and gas-based industrial activities have dominated the national energy landscape.
|Overview of Energy Industry – 2016|
|Crude Oil and Condensate Production (bpd)||71,487|
|Oil Refining Output (capacity, bpd)||160,000 bpd|
|Natural Gas Production (bcf/d, 2016)||3.327|
|LNG Production (capacity, mm tonne)||15|
|NGL Production (2016, bpd)||25,174.5|
|3P Gas Reserves (end 2015, tcf)||14.99|
|3P Oil Reserves (million barrels)||570|
|Global Natural Gas Player||Despite…||Points to Note||Energy Sector Contribution|
|Natural Gas Based Production – 2016|
|Methanol Production||4.655 MM tonnes|
|Ammonia Production||4.9 MM tonnes|
|Urea||0.6 MM tonnes|
|UAN||1.236 MM tonnes|
|Melamine||620 K tonnes|
The latest audit of the country’s natural gas reserves by Ryder Scott Company, Petroleum Consultants, was conducted in 2015. The audit estimated the country’s proven reserves of natural gas at 10.60 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at the end of 2015. Probable reserves were estimated at 3.24 Tcf, and possible reserves at 1.15 Tcf. The unrisked exploratory resources were 7.76 Tcf.
As of 2016 T&T ranked as the leading exporter of Ammonia and the second largest exporter of Methanol from a single site. The country is the largest exporter Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter to the United States. The slate of heavy industries includes world-scale ammonia and methanol plants, and a gas processing facility. Steps are being taken to diversify the sector mainly through the establishment of secondary processing industries downstream of ammonia and methanol and new gas-based industries producing an array of new products.
Figure 1: T&T Gas Value Chain
Figure 2: Growth in T&T Natural Gas Utilization
Box 2 – Key Natural Gas Statistics
|Proven reserves (end 2015)||10.60 Tcf|
|Possible reserves (end 2015)||1.15 Tcf|
|Probable reserves (end 2015)||3.24 Tcf|
|Exp Production (end 2015)||7.76 Tcf|
At the apex of the industry structure is the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) which is responsible for administration and public policy formulation.
The industry value chain comprises three components— upstream, midstream and downstream.
The upstream comprises those activities involved in the exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas. The midstream comprises those activities involved in the transportation, distribution and processing of natural gas. The downstream comprises the activities involved in the production of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); the manufacture of metals and gas-based petrochemicals; and the generation of electricity. Within these components, the industry exhibits a mixed market structure with foreign and local companies involved in activities at all stages.
In addition, two state-owned companies play significant roles in the industry. These are the National Gas Company (NGC) and its primary subsidiary National Energy.