Historical Facts on the Petroleum Industry of Trinidad and Tobago

Historical Facts on the Petroleum Industry of Trinidad and Tobago

1857    First well drilled for oil in Trinidad – 61 metres deep in the vicinity of the Pitch Lake by the Merrimac Company

1865    Walter Darwent founded the Paria Oil Co. to drill for oil in south Trinidad

1866    First successful oil well drilled by Walter Darwent at Aripero

1901    Randolph Rust and Mr. Lee Lum drilled and tested a well which produced 455 liters of oil in 2 hours.

1903    Guyaguayare No. 3…first well to be drilled with rotary equipment.

1904    A Mines Department instituted as a branch of the Public Works with the production of manjak.

1908    Commercial oil production begins in Trinidad near the Pitch Lake, La Brea

1910    First export cargo of crude oil was shipped by tanker at Brighton, La Brea

1911    Discovery of Tabaquite field most northerly oilfield found on land, to date.

1912    Small refinery built at Point Fortin

1914    Production reached 1 MMB/year and the oil industry employed 1,200.

1919    Refinery capacity increased to 9,000 barrels of oil per day. Sixty-six percent of crude oil produced was refined locally.

1921    Production began from Trinidad Leaseholds Ltd.’s Cat Cracker Unit at Pointe-a-Pierre.

1930    Crude oil production increased to 10 million barrels per year.

1930    First importation of oil from Venezuela for refining locally.

1930    First geophysical surveys made in the Brighton area.

1932    Electrical well logging introduced in Trinidad.

1933    Trinidad Oilfields Ltd. introduces gas injection in the Forest Reserve Upper Cruse sand.

1937    Widespread labour unrest in the oilfield area.

1940    Refining capacity increased to approximately 285,000 bbl/day

1954    Marine drilling for oil began in the Soldado Field by Trinidad Northern Areas Limited (TRINMAR)

1954    Deepest well drilled on land Apex, Fyzabad Well No. 560 drilled to 16,155 feet.

1955    Discovery of the northern-most gas field in Trinidad at Mahaica, by Dominion Oil Limited.

1955    Production from Soldado oilfield at Trinmar initiated.

1958    First well started on platform 1.2 miles offshore from Brighton.  The platform was designed to accommodate 36 wells, which was a world record for this type of platform.

1959    Federation Chemicals Ltd. pioneered the use of natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of ammonia.

1961    Galeota No. 1 first exploratory well drilled offshore the East Coast of Trinidad. Well

produced oil but considered uneconomic.

1962    Formation of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines.

1963    Appointment of Commission of Enquiry into the Oil Industry.

1967    A new production high of 65 million barrels per year was achieved.

1968    First commercial oil discovery off the East Coast of Trinidad (off Pt. Radix)… well OPR-2.

1968    Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the United Nations carried out a seismic survey off Trinidad’s North Coast.

1969    New Petroleum Legislation enacted Act No. 46 of 1969.

1969    On July 1, Government in a joint venture with Tesoro Corporation acquired the local assets of British Petroleum; GOTT’s first venture into national ownership of an oil company.

1969    The National Petroleum Company was established by law.

1970    First Marine concessions under the new petroleum act were given out (North Coast Marine Areas).

1971    Drilling began off the North Coast of Trinidad…..natural gas discovered.

1972    Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company created.

1972    Commercial production began offshore the East Coast of Trinidad … from AMOCO’s Teak Platform.

1972    Delta Exploration Co., contracted to conduct a seismic survey of 2 million acres of offshore territory in East Coast and Gulf of Paria.

1974    On August 31st, Government acquired the local operations of Shell Trinidad Limited and formed the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company Limited (TRINTOC)

1974    Petroleum Taxes Act revised the taxation methods in the petroleum industry and introduced the Refinery Throughput Tax.

1975    Formation of the National Gas Company for the transmission and sales of natural gas.

1977    The Government of Trinidad and Tobago takes its option of an additional 20 per cent participation in South Coast Consortium as a commercial discovery is announced.

1977    Tringen- Commissioning activities were completed and the shipment of ammonia destined for the U.S.A. and Europe was begun.

1979    FERTRIN – Sod-breaking ceremony January 1979.

1980    Formation of the National Energy Corporation.

1980    Commissioning of the Iron and Steel Company of Trinidad and Tobago (ISCOTT)

1981    TRINTOC granted an Exploration and production (Public Petroleum Rights) Licence over Block 9-North of the NW Peninsula of Trinidad.

1982    TRINTOC enters into a processing agreement with TEXACO Trinidad Inc. for the processing of 1 million bbls of crude oil.

1982    Installation work begins on the second cross country pipeline by the National Gas Company.

1983    Cassia Gas Field comes on stream in May 1983

1983    Urea plant at Point Lisas commissioned in December 1983

1983    Decline in world crude oil prices. OPEC marker crude price cut from $34/bbl., which

adversely affects the local oil industry.

1983    Supplemental Petroleum Tax for land operations reduced from 35% to 15%.

1983    Offshore section of NOC 760 mm (30 inch) pipeline completed and put into service.

1983    Seismic survey using the vibroseis method initiated by Western Geophysical Co. (of USA)

1984    Crude oil production registers its first increase since 1978, production increased from 155.078 bbl/d to 163,937 bbl/d. This represents an increase in average daily production of 6.0% above the 1983 average.

1984    Data from the marine seismic new areas off the North and East Coast of Trinidad and Tobago, put on sale.

1984    Joint UNDP/ World Bank Assessment of Trinidad and Tobago undertaken.

1984    Methanol Plant at Point Lisas begins commercial production.

1985    AMOCO produces its 500 millionth barrel of crude oil i.e. 22.6% of total crude production for the country at that date.

1985    Submarine production allowance terminated with effect from 31.12.83.

1985    TEXTRIN is integrated with TRINTOC as some of its assets are acquired by GOTT.

1985    Fire on TRINTOC, Pointe-a-Pierre jetty kills 14 employees.

1985    GOTT acquired Tesoro Corporation’s 49.9% equity in Trinidad-Tesoro Petroleum Company Limited for 3.23 million barrels of residual fuel to be paid over a period of 18 months: May 1986 to November 1987. Name of the Company changed to Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company Limited (TRINTOPEC).

1986    OPEC failed to agree on an oil production policy that could have reversed the collapse in world oil prices. This decline in oil prices had a negative impact on the local oil industry.

1986    Compressed natural gas (as a substitute motor car fuel) pilot project is launched and the first CNG filling station inaugurated.

1988    Trintomar Limited incorporated to develop and operate acreage held by the SECC. Comprises Trintoc 40%, Trintopc 40% and NGC 20%.

1988    Three offshore blocks: 511, Lower Reverse ‘L”-shaped and “U”-shaped blocks put up for competitive bidding.

1988    GOTT revises Supplemental Petroleum Taxes and announces major tax incentives for workovers and marine heavy oil production.

1989    Bidding invited for four new blocks off the East Coast – Block 89/2, Block 89/3, Block 89/4 and Block 89/5.

1989    Introduction of the lease operatorship and farmout programme.

1989    Exploration and Production Licence signed for Block 5-11 (Trintopec/Mobil).

1989    Signing of the joint venture agreement for the formation of the Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd.

1989    Caribbean Ispat commenced operations in May 1989.

1990    Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago sign an oil cooperation agreement.

1991    Block 89/2 and 89/3 awarded to BHP (Americas) Inc. and Unocal Corporation respectively.

1991    Norsk Hydro-Agri Trinidad Limited commenced operations in January 1991.  This company operates three ammonia plants in Point Lisas.

1991    Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited commenced operations.

1992    EOG Resources started operations. EOG is currently contracted to sell gas to NGC and condensate to Petrotrin.

1993    The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin) is registered on January 21, 1993, with an authorized share capital of TT$1,500 million.  Petrotrin is the single entity formed as a result of the merger of the state-owned oil companies – Trintoc and Trintopec.

1993    British Gas signed a revised production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on September 09, 1993.

1993    Enron and British/Texaco lease marine fields Keskidee and Dolphin respectively.

1995    LNG Consortium forms Atlantic LNG.

1996    Start of construction of Atlantic LNG facility at Point Fortin.

1996    Government opens 3rd round of competitive bidding for 13 offshore leases for deep water production sharing contracts between itself and international companies

1996    Trinidad Exploration and Development Company Limited (TED) signed an            exploration and production licence with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1996

1996    Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) signed a production sharing contract and started operations in Trinidad and Tobago in April 1996.

1996    Talisman (Trinidad) Holdings Limited signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in April 1996.

1996    ELF Exploration Trinidad B.V. signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in November, 1996.

1997    Repsol Exploration signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in January 1997.

1997    AGIP Trinidad and Tobago Limited signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in March 1997.

1997    Deminex Trinidad Petroleum GmbH signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in March 1997.

1997    Farmland MissChem Limited commenced operations in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

1997    Messer Trinidad and Tobago Limited entered into a joint venture with Neal and Massy and was incorporated in 1997. It operates three industrial gas plants in point Lisas.

1997    PCS Nitrogen Trinidad Limited acquired Arcadian’s operations.

1998    Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery Upgrade , a US$355 million project is completed and commissioned.

1998    EXXONMOBIL Exploration & Production Trinidad Limited signed a production   sharing contract with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1998.

1998    Trinidad Shell Exploration and Production B. V. signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1998.

1998    New Horizon commenced operations in September 1998.

1999    Venture Production (Trinidad) Limited entered into a joint venture with Petrotrin on October 1999.

1999    Atlantic LNG starts production with Train I.

2000    Agreement reached for expansion of Atlantic LNG trains 2 and 3.

2001    BHP Billiton announces that wells Canteen1 and Kairi 1 encountered significant oil and gas cloumns in previously untested un discovere Oligocene sands.

2001    Titan Methanol Company first production was in April 2001.

2001    Caribbean Nitrogen Company commenced operations.

2002    Vermillion entered into a joint venture with Petrotrin in August 2002.

2002    First commercial gas produced from British Gas North Coast Marine acreage.

2002    Trinidad’s 9th ammonia plant comes on stream.

2002    Phoenix Park Gas Processors signs a train 2 and train 3 natural gas liquids agreement with Atlantic LNG.

2002    Atlantic LNG train 2 first commercial shipment September 2002.

2002    bpTT begins installation of the worl’d second largest natural gas processing/production

platform in Kapok Field.

2002    Production of natural gas begins from Hibiscus field on the North Coast.

2002    BHP Billiton declares commerciality of the Greater Angoustra Structure, reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels oil & 1 tcf gas.

2002    BG / Texaco announces Dorado 1 gas discovery in block 5a.

2002    bptt announces that Iron Horse 1s1t has found 1tcf natural gas.

2002    TED spuds first exploration well on south-west penninsula lease.

2002    Block U-b awarded to Primera and EOG.

2002    Vintage Petroleum announces gas and condensate discovery at Carapal Ridge 1, onshore

Trinidad, 1st since Navette in 1957.

2002    Block 3A awarded to the consortium of BHP Billiton (operator) , TFE, BG & Talisman.

2002    Eastern Block awarded to Talisman (joint venture).

2002    EOG announced commercial gas discovery with Parula 1 in in the SECC block.

2002    EOG awarded Reverse L block.

2002    MOE begins aquisition of Ultra deep water 2D seismic survey.

2002    Venture Petroleum began exploration and development drilling on the Point Ligoure Joint Venture.

2002    Commercial production began from Osprey Field (EOG)

2002    Exxon-Mobil drilled 2 wells in blocks 25(b) and 26, bptt in Block 27 (deep water).

2002    bptt announced Red Mango 2st1 as a gas/condensate discovery.

2003    BPTT commissions the world’s largest offshore gas processing facility, Cassia B, capable of producing 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

2003    BPTT installs Bombax, BP’s largest diameter marine pipeline worldwide (48″) and one of the largest in the world.

2003    Cross border talks with Venezuela- signing an MOU and Letter of Intent.

2003    Offshore competitive bid rounds held for 9 shallow water shelf and deep water blocks

2003    A Draft of the Quarry Policy Green Paper was prepared.

2004    Six blocks were awarded from the “2003 Competitive Bid Rounds”: 1(a), 1(b), 3(b), 4(a), 5(c) and 22.

2004    Stimulation of production of onshore acreages via 1. PETROTRIN surrendering individual “Deeds of Surrender” and being re-awarded “Core Areas” licences incorporating new terms and conditions. 2. Establishing a consortium of companies for the Southern Basin onshore exploration project.

2004    Two new petrochemicals plant established: Atlas Methanol and the N2000

2004    Formulation and implementation of a “Local content policy”.

2005    ALNG Train 4 was completed ahead of schedule in December 2005

2005    Start of construction of the 56” Cross Island Pipeline (largest in the Western Hemisphere) from Beachfield to Pt. Fortin.

2005    Construction of four offshore platforms at LABIDCO: Oilbird, Cannonball, Cashima and Mango.

2005    the “2005/6 Competitive Bid Round” began which offered 8 onshore and 8 deepwater blocks.

2006    The Petroleum Fiscal Review was implemented which made amendments to major pieces of legislation including: Supplemental petroleum Tax. A new model PSC emerged from this review.

2007    The “Unitization Framework Treaty” for the cross border gas between Venezuela and TT was signed.

2007    9 blocks were awarded in the “2005/6 Competitive Bid Round”.

2009    BPTT Savonette platform installed and 1st gas produced.

2010    BPTT Serrette platform installed