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April 1, 2022updated 08 Apr 2022 10:38am

Shell announces first gas from Trinidad and Tobago field

The move has been heralded as a “milestone” by the company, despite increased scrutiny on its operations in light of climate commitments.

By Scarlett Evans

Production at oil and gas major Shell’s Caribbean site has begun, with start-up of the Colibri field in Trinidad and Tobago marking a “significant milestone” in the company’s growth strategy.  

First gas at the site follows an amendment to the Block 6 production sharing contract, allowing for delivery of gas supplies both domestically and internationally through Atlantic LNG.  

Wael Sawan, director of integrated gas, renewable and energy solutions at Shell said in a press release: “I am proud of the team in Trinidad and Tobago for their commitment to safely delivering this project on time. This reinforces the delivery of Shell’s Powering Progress strategy in country, as we seek to provide more and cleaner energy solutions, globally.”  

He added: “Colibri, along with other development projects, will see natural gas going into both the domestic petrochemical markets and into LNG exports, in line with the energy ambitions of Trinidad and Tobago.” 

The field could add an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) of sustained near-term gas production, with peak production expected to be around 43,000boe/d, generated through a series of four subsea gas wells linked back to the existing Poinsettia Platform located in the North Coast Marine Area (NCMA), north of Trinidad. 

The project is co-owned with the Trinidad and Tobago national oil company Heritage Petroleum Company, which has a working interest in Block 22 and NCMA-4 of 10% and 20% respectively in the NCMA. 

News of the production success comes in the same week as Shell was granted extension of its licence to develop the controversial Cambo gas field in the North Sea, as the UK Government ramps up attempts to target volatile gas supplies and booming energy prices. While environmental groups have consistently opposed any further oil and gas development, the ripple effects of sanctions against Russia have led nations to pause pledges to phase out fossil fuels as they seek to fill market gaps.  

Shell previously announced it was withdrawing funding for the Cambo field, however in March this year the company said that it was reconsidering its position in light of renewed demand to accelerate domestic energy sources in the UK.  

News of the extension has unsurprisingly been met with upset from environmental groups. Writing on Twitter, Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “The Cambo licence extension simply delays its inevitable rejection and the transition away from fossil fuels. The government must instead rapidly scale up renewables while supporting a just transition for workers and communities.” 

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