For Investors

Competitive Bid Round

Bid Round


The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island state located at the southernmost point of the West Indian island chain (see Location map) extending south of Florida (USA) to eastern Venezuela on the South American mainland. It occupies a central position in that it is ideally located for egress to and from the North American and the South American mainland and is also easily accessible from Europe.   The year 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of as a commercial producer of oil and gas as the Energy Sector has been, and continues to be the main driver of the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.


Competitive Bid Round 2010

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago invites participation in its 2010 Competitive Bid Round for seven offshore blocks (see concession map) located in the East Coast marine Area (2), North Coast Marine Area (4) and Gulf of Paria (1) to be governed by Production Sharing Contract agreements (download the model shallow water production sharing contract). This Bid Round will be different from past rounds, taking advantage of revised contractual terms, a more transparent bid evaluation process and fiscal incentives designed to attract potential investors while optimizing government revenues. The acreage offers a mix of water depths, hydrocarbon play-types and production potential.  Risk assessment in all of the blocks is facilitated by previously acquired 2D and 3D seismic data, well penetrations and the proximity of these blocks to known hydrocarbon pools and production.

The data room is now open for interested participants to view well and seismic data related to the acreage on offer. To request appointments, send an email to   or one of the contacts listed at the bottom of this page. You can also view the prequalification criteria for participation here.

Download a synopsis of legal and commercial terms and view frequently asked questions about the Competitive Bidding Process and Production Sharing Contracts. View Shallow Water Bid Round Q&A here. View PSC Stakeholder letter here.

 You can also download the procedure for obtaining a Bid Round Data package here.

Please view Minister’s remarks in the house of Parliament for amendments to the Production Sharing Contracts and Fiscal Regime for the 2010 Competitive Bidding Order here.

Description of Blocks

Block 4(b)

Block 4(b) lies off the east coast of Trinidad in water depths ranging from 100 to 800m, just east of the Dolphin and Starfish producing fields. This block is approximately 750 km² (download a brochure on the acreage).  The block was offered during the competitive bid round in 1995 and awarded to Conoco Philips who relinquished the block in 1999. The general structure of the acreage consists of northeast-southwest oriented compressional ridges and northwest to southeast oriented extensional faults.  Successful exploration in the adjacent block 4(a) has led to development of gas reserves from multiple Plio-Pleistocene clastic reservoirs.  Seismic coverage over Block 4(b) consists of various vintage 2D data and a 3D seismic survey acquired in 1997. There is one well on the eastern edge of the block (Las Cuevas 1) that was drilled in 1998  to a depth of 4772m in water depth of 697m.  This well encountered thermogenic and biogenic hydrocarbons in non-commercial quantities. The data collected includes vertical seismic velocity profiles, lithological and paleontological descriptions and a standard suite of well logs.

Block 5(d)

The block is located in eastern offshore Trinidad in water depths ranging from 450 to 800m.  The block is 684 km² (download a brochure on the acreage). There have been several discoveries of gas in adjacent blocks; the Manakin gas discovery lies to the south and Corallita and Lantana discoveries to the west. The block is fully covered by 3D seismic data and also traversed by several 2D seismic lines.  Generally the structure comprises several anticlinal trends dissected by northwest to southeast-oriented extensional faults.  Stratigraphically the area exhibits characteristics of an upper slope environment and previous drilling has targeted complex channel fill facies.

There are two wells on this block.  Sandpiper-1 spud in 1999 in water depths of 450m and was completed at a total depth of 3356m. The well encountered several thin pay sands.  El Nino-1, spud in 1998, confirmed the presence of sandy Pleistocene reservoir facies with porosities of 27-33% and an active hydrocarbon system with gas-condensate sands.  El Nino-1 was classified as a non-commercial gas discovery.

Block NCMA 2

Block NCMA2 is located in the North Coast Marine Area off the northern coast of Trinidad and west of Tobago.  The Block is approximately 987 km² with water depths ranging between 30-100m.  The Block is adjacent to the Chaconia and Hibiscus producing fields but has no proven hydrocarbons to date (no exploration wells drilled).  The majority of the block is covered by two 2D seismic surveys shot in 1993 and 2004 respectively at 3 to 5 km line-spacing (view the seismic coverage over the acreage).  Independent assessment of the acreage suggests the potential for combination structural-stratigraphic trapping mechanisms in Pliocene reservoir sands (download a cross section over the area).

Block NCMA 3

Block NCMA 3 covers approximately 2094 km² and is located in relatively shallow water (30-100m) off the north coast of Trinidad.  It is south of the currently-producing Hibiscus, Chaconia and Poinsietta gas fields.  Two wells have been drilled over the acreage:  Alma 1 and HH6-1, with the latter testing gas.  Approximately 60% of the block is covered by two 2D seismic survey datasets shot by Deminex in 1977 and Western Geco in 1980.  These surveys provide a reasonable insight into trap styles and the general geology over the acreage.  It is anticipated that trap styles and reservoir intervals akin to the gas fields to the north, continue into Block NCMA 3 (download a cross section over the area).

Block NCMA 4

Block NCMA 4 covers approximately 1779 km² and is located in relatively shallow water (30-160m) off the northwest coast of Tobago. It is east of the currently-producing Hibiscus, Chaconia and Poinsietta gas fields and also contains two proven gas accumulations.  Six wells have been drilled over the acreage.  Almost the entire block is covered by 2D seismic data (view basemap) with the most recent being the 4x4km grid survey shot by PGS in conjunction with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008.  That survey is available on a speculative basis from PGS.

The block is bounded by the Tobago Arch to the southeast and KK-Patao High to the northwest.

The current well dataset serves to confirm the existence of Pliocene reservoirs intervals (download a cross section over the area), while seismic data suggest that gas accumulations are associated with both structural and stratigraphic trapping mechanisms.

Block NCMA 5

Block NCMA 5 covers an area of approximately 2311 km² and is located in relatively shallow water (30-100m) off the northeast coast of Trinidad and south of Tobago. It is the only acreage being offered with no proven hydrocarbons to date, although it lies just north of the Angostura sandstone play (download a cross section over the area). Three wells exist over the acreage with fourth just below its southern boundary.  The block is almost entirely covered by the 4x4km grid Multi-Client 2D PGS survey shot in 2008.

Major structural features over the acreage include the Tobago Arch to the northwest and a complex zone of faulting towards the south.  One well within the acreage (HH9-1) contains the highest sand/ shale ratio found over the North Coast Marine Area, approximating 1:1 and greatly reduces the reservoir risk associated with this block.  In addition to the anomalously high net to gross, the block is structurally and stratigraphically unique relative to other NCMA acreage with wells penetrating sediments very similar to the Gulf of Paria – Northern Basin play, with proven thermogenic and biogenic gas and oil.  The juxtaposition of this acreage next to the proven Oligocene Angostura play adds another interesting facet to the acreage and highlights the need for further exploration to unravel its full commercial potential.

North Marine

The North Marine Block is located in the Gulf of Paria and is approximately 205 sq km in size.  It is currently 100% Petrotrin/ Trinmar operated (view a location map).   Twenty two wells have been drilled over the acreage since NM-1 in 1958 with several oil and gas discoveries in Plio-Pleistocene reservoirs (8-41 deg API crude) and light oil from the Oligo-Miocene Nariva Formation.  A 3D seismic survey covering 454 sq km was acquired and processed by CGG in 2004.

The closest fields to the North Marine block are Brighton (to the east) and Soldado (to the south) fields.  Brighton produces primarily from the Oligo-Miocene Nariva Formation (“Nariva Blanket Sand”) with light oil while Soldado produces mainly from younger Pliocene reservoirs with heavier oil. In Soldado North field, oil zones in Manzanilla Formation reservoirs become increasingly heavy upwards from 27ºAPI at the base to 16ºAPI at the top.  In the North Marine Block, individual sands from the Manzanilla Formation can be up to 100 feet thick, with porosities greater than 30%.

Within the North Marine Block lies the North Marine discovery on which 6 wells have been drilled. Four of these found oil bearing Manzanilla Formation reservoirs in a downdip structural position. A fifth well (NM-11) found Manzanilla sands further updip, but with no pay, suggesting stratigraphic trapping.  On the eastern crest of this North Marine structure, well NM-4 found sands with low saturation gas.  Cumulative production from the block is approximately 1.3 million barrels of oil, being produced largely from 3 wells.

Hydrocarbons were likely sourced from the prolific Upper Cretaceous source, known south of the Warm Springs fault, or a gas/ condensate-prone Cenozoic source. The area is bounded to the south by the Warm Springs Fault with evidence for strike slip displacement and inversion.  Normal faulting is a common fault style throughout the block.

Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area

In response to the limited success of the 2006 Trinidad Deep Atlantic Bid Round, the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries launched several initiatives aimed to encourage future exploration over the acreage with the intention of a second Deep Atlantic Bid Round.  These initiatives included a concurrent review of fiscal, contractual and technical aspects of the Deep Atlantic area.  Fiscal and legal terms were reviewed in collaboration with consultants and other government stakeholders (e.g. Ministry of Finance) while a detailed technical review was carried out in collaboration with Dynamic Global Advisors of Houston (download the model Deep water production sharing contract).

The technical aspect involved a two-phase study towards understanding the overall tectono-stratigraphic framework of the Deep Atlantic Area and its related petroleum system. The first phase is entitled “A New Look at Eastern Deepwater Trinidad; Seismic Interpretation and Exploration Potential” and is based on the re-interpretation of reprocessed regional 2D seismic lines (Caribspan) first acquired by GX Technologies (now ION).   The study is one of the most detailed and up-to-date geologic analysis of this frontier basin and critically reviews the expected play concepts, including a comparison with established deep water plays in Nigeria and Gulf of Mexico. Further details can be obtained directly from Dynamic Global Advisors or the contacts listed at the end of this page.

The second phase of the study is entitled “Basin to Leads – Risks and Reserves: Exploration Potential of the Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic” and was carried out under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries in collaboration with Dynamic Global Advisors.  It builds on the framework established in the first phase and goes into specific details on aspects of the petroleum system, including basin modelling, reservoir characterization, pore pressure modelling and prediction (using seismic and well data), establishing characteristic leads, reserve and risk assessment, producibility.

View the scope of the project and a synopsis of the results.

There are other acreage enhancement studies that were undertaken on a speculative basis by several independent consultants that provide further insights into the Deep Atlantic area from several different perspectives.   A piston core survey of the area was undertaken by TDI Brooks International ( in 2003 and details the presence of live thermogenic hydrocarbons over the acreage. Biostratigraphic Associates Trinidad Ltd. (mail to also completed a detailed stratigraphic transect from onshore, through to shallow water and deepwater wells, incorporating the North and East Coast Marine areas, Northern and Southern Basins and Central Range.  Geophysical contractors Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA are also planning a controlled-source electromagnetic survey for parts of the Trinidad Deep Atlantic Area, due in 2010, while Spectrum is reprocessing the original TTDA regional 2D survey lines shot in 2004.

The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries is encouraged by the results of past and ongoing studies over the deepwater acreage and by the feedback from independent parties interested in the acreage.  We invite interested parties to visit our data room in Port of Spain or contact our offices for details of the upcoming Competitive Bid Round or others to be offered in the future.  The Ministry looks forward to further consultation and eventual exploration over its shallow and deep offshore acreage.  A Trinidad Deep Atlantic Area Competitive Bid round is anticipated in 2010.


Interested parties are encouraged to visit the Data Room of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries to view well and seismic data related to open acreage, including data within the upcoming Competitive Bid Rounds. The Data Room is located at Level 23 of the offices of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, International Waterfront Centre, Tower C, Port of Spain and viewing can be arranged between 8am to 4pm by appointment (see contacts below).

The Data Room can comfortably accommodate about four individuals, although there is no restriction on the numbers at any one time. It is equipped with a dual monitor workstation running Landmark’s Seisworks and Stratworks software and this can be used to examine available well and seismic surveys. The quantity and quality of data will vary by acreage and is determined by several factors including past exploration, proximity to producing blocks and legal data requirements. Every effort will be made to ensure that a representative and current dataset is available for viewing.

Once an appointment is made, companies and their legal representative (employees, consultants, etc.) are required to agree to a Data Usage Agreement that governs usage of the data while in the Data Room. Visitors are also expected to abide by the guidelines set for the Data Room.


Useful links



Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
PBX 623-6708

Mrs. Helena Inniss
Director Resource Management Division
PBX ext. 2609

Dr. Wanda Delandro-Clarke
Geophysical Specialist
PBX ext. 2371

Mr. Stephen Jagdeo
Senior Geophysicist
PBX ext. 2363