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31 January 2020

Matapal Gas Project

Matapal is a new offshore gas project being developed off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, in a water depth of more than 500ft.
The Matapal is a new offshore gas project being developed in the east Block of the Columbus Basin, off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago. Credit: Maersk Drilling.
Maersk Discoverer drilling rig will be used for drilling wells at the Matapal gas project. Credit: BP p.l.c.
The production capacity of the project is expected to be 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. Credit: BP p.l.c.

Matapal is a new offshore gas project being developed off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, in a water depth of more than 500ft.

The project is 100% owned by BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT), which is a consortium of BP (70%) and Repsol (30%). BPTT discovered gas resources offshore Trinidad with the drilling of Savannah exploration well in June 2017. The resources will be developed under the Matapal gas project. BPTT approved the development of the gas project in December 2018.

"Matapal is expected to come online in 2022."

The production capacity of the project is estimated to be 400 million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas per day, with an average annual peak production of approximately 70 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboed).

Location and geology of Matapal gas project

The project will be located in the East Block of the Columbus Basin, approximately 80km offshore the south-east coast of Trinidad.

The Columbus Basin contains two primary structural trends, anticlines trending towards east-northeast and normal faults oriented towards north-northwest. The late Miocene Lower Cruse Formation is believed to be the source of the oil in the basin, while gas is found in Pliocene-Pleistocene pro-delta shale rocks.

The extensional faults were partly responsible for the migration of the hydrocarbons to the Pliocene-Pleistocene reservoirs.

Discovery details of the Matapal gas project

The Savannah exploration well was drilled into a fault block situated to the east of the Juniper gas field, in a water depth of 500ft.

Drilled with a semi-submersible rig, the exploration well encountered hydrocarbon reservoirs in two intervals, containing net pay of approximately 650ft. BPTT employed seismic processing and ocean bottom cable (OBC) seismic acquisition technologies to enable enhanced imaging of reservoirs in the Columbus Basin.

The discoveries made with the Savannah and Macadamia exploration wells were determined to contain approximately 2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place.

Matapal gas project development details

The project involves the development of a three-well subsea tie-back to the existing production facility at the Juniper gas field.

Maersk Discoverer, a semi-submersible drilling rig, will be deployed to undertake drilling at the Matapal field.

Drilling rig features

The Maersk Discoverer is a DSS-21 self-propelled A1 column-stabilised, dynamically positioned, deep-water rig, which can operate in water depths of up to 10,000ft.

The rig can drill to a maximum depth of 32,800ft and features a 15,000psi blowout prevention (BOP) system, dual pipe handling system and a Favelle Favco deck crane. It also features a 3.5t pipe handling knuckle boom crane and four Wirth 14-P-2200 7500psi triplex mud pumps.

Contractors involved

Maersk Drilling was awarded a three-well contract in December 2019 to carry out development drilling at the Matapal project for a period of 322 days.

The $78m contract holds an option for an additional well. The work on the project will begin in July 2020.

BPTT in Trinidad and Tobago

BPTT is the biggest natural gas producer in Trinidad and Tobago. The company’s gas production represents approximately 55% of the country’s production.

The company is involved in several other gas projects offshore Trinidad including the already producing Angelin, and Juniper gas field. The firm expects to begin production from the Cassia Compression project in 2021 and Cypre field after that year. The company holds exploration and production licenses covering more than 904,000 offshore acres in the country’s east coast.

BP is strategically focusing on long-term development in the Carribean region. It has invested more than $6bn in Trinidad’s upstream sector in the last six years.

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