As many of T&T’s oilfields near their ends, Energy and Energy Industries Minister Franklin Khan says Heritage Petroleum has to find new deposits to survive.
Heritage produces an average of 38,500 bpd, which is a drop in the barrel compared to its predecessors and international competitors.
Khan said in the old days, Trinmar alone produced 40,000 bpd. He said that having assessed and analyzed the economy, T&T still depends heavily on oil and gas sales.
Despite the challenge, Heritage launched its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative at its Santa Flora head office yesterday, with plans to spend millions in community and human development programmes.
“Oil and gas exploration is a complex science. These oil fields are old. When I say old, I mean very old. We have been producing oil for over 100 years now. Most of the fields: the Palo Seco field, the Fyzabad field, Forest Reserve field, Point Fortin, Central FC, MPW they were all discovered in the 1910s, 20s and 30s.
Cumulatively, they have produced over a billion and a half barrels of oil, but they are coming to the end of their lives. We have come to a stage now where we have to find new oil onshore, possibly in Trinmar in the Gulf of Paria.
The entire energy sector has migrated to the North Eastern/East coast of Trinidad and Tobago; they have left us behind. So it is now the role of the ‘explorationist’, myself included, geologist, geophysicists to come up with new ideas and new concepts as to how we can continue to search for new oil fields in onshore Trinidad and in particular, the Gulf of Paria,” Khan said.
Looking to Guyana, he said never before in his career in the energy sector that he saw so much oil being found in a country in such a short time.
He said there were more reserves per capita than Saudi Arabia, bearing in mind their 750, 000 population. He said T&T can capitalize on this with its human resource expertise in the sector.
However, he said to do this, a home base must be established by increasing production, improving efficiency and finding new deposits, which the Heritage technical staff has been mandated to do.
With Petrotrin’s closure affecting the economies of communities along the South Western Peninsula, he said Heritage’s success is fundamental to their long term survival.
“Because what else do you have in this part of the country outside of oil? Nothing else has emerged as yet so you have to protect this industry.” Therefore, he called on people to stop stealing the company’s equipment as it sometimes stalls production.
While Heritage’s predecessor Petrotrin dished out millions for several sponsorship programmes, CSR will now be focused on developing citizens’ skill sets.
Heritage CEO Arlene Chow said while the company focus on profitability and operational success, it must do good at the same time. Chow said the aim is to create measurable improvements that would bring sustainable growth to Heritage’s fence line communities. The companies CSR plan was derived from focus groups with employees
and the communities
Reporter: Kevon Felmine