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Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean Fact Sheet
The Caribbean Sea region plays an important role as
a petroleum processing and transshipment area, with
several major refineries and independent storage facilities.
Furthermore, Trinidad and Tobago is becoming an increasingly
significant supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
to regional markets and to the United States.
Note: information contained in this report is
the best available as of June 2003 and can change.
The islands of the Caribbean basin, with a total
population of approximately 37 million in 2002, are
predominantly net energy importers, with the exception
of hydrocarbon rich Trinidad and Tobago. Agriculture
and natural resource extraction activities continue
to constitute the basis of the islands' economies,
though tourism and service sectors are growing. In
the larger economies, manufacturing is also important,
such as oil and natural gas production in Trinidad;
pharmaceuticals and cement in Puerto
Rico; and textiles in the Dominican Republic and
Jamaica. Economic growth, however, varies across
the region. While many of the islands' economies contracted
in 2002, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic's
economies continued to grow, with real gross domestic
product (GDP) growth rates of 2.6% and 4.1%, respectively.
Over the past decade, the Caribbean states have made
efforts to integrate their economies. The major regional
organization is the Caribbean
Community and Common Market (CARICOM), whose members
include the South American states of Guyana and Suriname
and the Central American State of Belize, and the
Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas,
Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat,
St.Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. All other islands,
with the exception of Cuba, have either associate
or observer status. The Caribbean Community has three
objectives: (a) economic cooperation through the Caribbean
Single Market Economy; (b) coordination of foreign
policy among the independent Member States; and (c)
common services and cooperation in functional matters
such as health, education and culture, communications,
and industrial relations. CARICOM countries have steadily
reduced tariffs among members. Besides CARICOM, the
other main organizations of the region include the
Association of Caribbean
States, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union and
the associated Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
OIL AND NATURAL GAS
In 2001, the islands of the Caribbean region
consumed a combined total of 2.2 quadrillion Btu of
energy. Oil is the dominant fuel, accounting for about
92% of total 2001 energy consumption. The Caribbean
relies on imported oil for most of its energy needs.
Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica
are party to the San Jose Pact, under which Mexico
and Venezuela supply crude oil and refined products
under favorable terms. Natural gas and hydropower
are used in countries that have these domestic resources.
Natural gas is used most extensively in Trinidad and
Tobago, where natural gas-intensive industries, such
as steel, fertilizer, and petrochemicals are important
to the country's economy. Puerto Rico and the Dominican
Republic import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Trinidad
and Tobago for power generation.
Only three Caribbean countries have oil and natural
gas reserves: Barbados, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Of these, Trinidad and Tobago is the only significant
Reserves as of 1/1/03*
(billion cubic feet)
liquids, refinery gain)
(1,000 barrels per day, 2002)
(billion cubic feet, 2001)
|Trinidad & Tobago
*Source: Oil and Gas Journal,
December 23, 2002.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean's largest
producer of oil and gas. In 2002, oil production averaged
about 141,500 barrels per day (bbl/d), of which 121,833
bbl/d was crude oil. Crude oil reserves, at an estimated
716 million barrels, are expected to last only another
decade unless new reserves are found. BP is the nation's
largest oil and gas producer. Petrotrin, the state
oil company, is the second largest oil producer.
In contrast, the country's natural gas reserves are
expected to increase significantly in coming years.
Proven natural gas reserves currently stand at 23.5
trillion cubic feet (Tcf). In 2001, the country produced
536 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas.
Trinidad and Tobago has become one of the major natural
gas development centers in the world. Natural gas
is expected to surpass oil as the main revenue earner
for the country in the near future. According to the
Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy
Industries, about 36% of its natural gas was exported
in 2002 as liquefied natural gas (LNG), while the
rest was used domestically, particularly for ammonia
and methane manufacturing. Trinidad now has nine ammonia
complexes, six methanol units, a urea plant, and an
iron and steel complex. In early 2004, the largest
methanol plant in the world, Atlas,
is expected to be completed. Atlas will be surpassed
by an even bigger methanol project, M5000 facility,
which is due to enter production in 2004. Trinidad
is the world's leading exporter of both ammonia and
Exploration and Production
Both natural gas and oil exploration activities in
Trinidad and Tobago have continued at a fast pace
over the last three years. During 2000-2001, British
Petroleum Trinidad (BPTT) alone added more than 6
Tcf to its own reserves. EOG Resources (U.S.) announced
in May 2002 a new discovery in its SECC block, located
off Trinidad's eastern shore. The new discovery is
expected to add 250-350 Bcf of natural gas to the
field's existing reserves. Repsol-YPF and BPTT discovered
in September 2002 nearly 1 Tcf in the Iron Horse field,
located east of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Trinidad and Tobago government granted approval
in March 2003 to BHP Billiton, TotalFinaElf, and Talisman
Energy to proceed with the $726 million first phase
development of the Greater Angostura project, located
off the northeastern coast of Trinidad. The companies
will be developing Block 2(C). Billiton estimates
that the block contains up to 160 million barrels
of oil and 1.75 Tcf of natural gas. It is expected
that this field could produce 75,000 to 100,000 bbl/d,
significantly increasing the country's crude oil production.
In April 2002, BG
International, Billiton, Talisman, and TotalFinaElf
signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the
government for the adjacent Block 3(a). The group
plans to drill two wells in the Block later this year.
In 1998, Shell, BP, Arco and ExxonMobil received licenses
to drill off the eastern coast of Trinidad in depths
ranging from 2,460 to 4,921 feet. The four deepwater
Blocks - 25(a), 25(b), 26 and 27 - have yet to produce
oil after drilling seven wells. In March 2003, Shell
returned Block 25(a) to the Trinidad government, after
the well proved to be noncommercial. The Trinidad
government is not giving up hope of finding commercial
deposits of oil. In June 2002, the government, in
conjunction with 12 foreign firms, undertook a new
seismic study of previously unexplored regions with
depths ranging from 5,576 to 9,480 feet.
New Licensing Round
The Trinidad and Tobago government plans to launch
a nine-block licensing round, which is expected to
run from May 23 to September 30, 2003. The first two
Blocks, 23(a) and 24(b), are in ultra-deep water.
They are located near the area where the government
recently conducted a seismic study (mentioned above).
Blocks 2(ab), 3(b) and 4(a) are located in shallow
waters to the east of Trinidad. Blocks 1(a) and 1(b)
are west of Trinidad in the Gulf of Paria. The finally
two Blocks, 22 and 24, also located near 23(a) and
24(b), but are not as deep.
Joint Field Development with Venezuela
Trinidad and Tobago has been in negotiations with
Venezuela to develop and possibly combine the two
countries' gas reserves in the Deltana region, located
of the Paria Peninsula. These negotiations, however,
have been placed on hold.
The Trinidad and Tobago government plans to build
an undersea natural gas pipeline throughout the eastern
Caribbean states. The proposed 600-mile pipeline would
run north from Trinidad, connecting to other islands
en route to the French island of Guadeloupe. The pipeline
would serve the islands Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados,
Grenada, St. Vincent, Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica.
There has also been discussion of potentially extending
the pipeline to Florida.
Trinidad and Tobago is the largest LNG exporter to
the United States. The Atlantic LNG Company of Trinidad
and Tobago currently operates three LNG trains on
the islands. The Atlantic plant is considered the
largest single-train plant ever built, and the first
LNG producer in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
The plant recently underwent a $1 billion expansion
to triple its capacity from 3 million to 9 million
tons per year by adding a second and third train.
Train 2 began operation in August 2002, while Train
3 came on line in April 2003. 62.5% of the total output
of Trains 2/3 is committed to the Spanish market.
The remaining 37.5% is sold in the U.S. market, mainly
in southeast, through the Elba Island Terminal and
to Lake Charles. The Dominican Republic also imports
LNG from Trinidad.
is building one of the world's largest offshore gas
processing units, the Kapok platform, as part of a
$600 million project to supply gas to these additional
trains. BPTT is also constructing a 30-mile long pipeline,
the "Bombax". The pipeline will feed natural
gas from Kapok to Atlantic LNG's Trains 2 and 3, and
to the Atlas Methanol plant. The pipeline will be
one of the world's largest, with a transport capacity
2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).
Partners of Train 1 are BP, BG, Repsol, Tractebel,
and National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC).
Partners of Train 2 and 3 are BP, BG and Repsol.
Negotiations for the construction of a fourth train,
which, according to design plans, would raise Trinidad
and Tobago's LNG production capacity to 13.8 million
tons per year, are ongoing. The construction of the
fourth train was originally scheduled to begin by
the end of 2002 and come online at the end of 2005.
The government has also indicated that it would be
interested in constructing a fifth and sixth train.
Cuban oil production has more than doubled since
1991. In 2002, Cuban oil production averaged 49,300
bbl/d while oil consumption averaged 157,000 bbl/d.
Most domestic crude oil production consists of a heavy,
sulfur-laden oil, which is converted into usable fuel.
Refineries process imported crude oil, mainly from
Venezuela and Mexico. Cuba has a financial arrangement
with Venezuela, allowing for the sale of oil under
preferential conditions. Cuba imports 53,000 bbl/d
of crude oil and refined products from Venezuela,
representing approximately a third of the island's
oil demand. The contract, which was signed in October
2000, is set to expire in 2005. Natural gas production
has also increased significantly in Cuba since the
early 1990s. As of January 2003, proven natural gas
reserves stood at 2.5 Tcf.
Exploration and Production
The Cuban government plans has set a goal to generate
all of its electricity demand from domestic crude
oil resources, making the island self-sufficient in
energy. Increases in oil and natural gas production
already fulfill more than 50% of domestic energy demand,
according to the Cuban government. The government
has forecasted that the combined oil and natural gas
production will increase by 17% in 2003.
Cuba's territorial waters in the Gulf of Mexico are
expected to hold the most promising oil prospects.
In early 2000, Cuba offered 59 offshore blocks in
its deepwater economic exclusive zone (EEZ) for oil
exploration by international oil companies. The Cuban
government has awarded Repsol-YPF (Spain) and Sherrit
International (Canada) blocks in the EEZ. The United
States maintains an economic embargo against Cuba,
and oil companies from other countries may be subject
to U.S. sanctions under the Helms-Burton Act of 1996
if they conduct significant transactions in Cuba.
Sherrit International announced in March 2003 that
it plans to invest $110 million in its oil and gas
operations in Cuba. Petrobras of Brazil expressed
interest in restarting oil exploration in Cuba after
the Cuban government offered Petrobras a deep-water
exploration block in Gulf of Mexico. Two years ago,
Petrobras abandoned exploration efforts in Cuba following
disappointing results. Pebercan (Canada) doubled crude
oil production at its Block 7 joint-venture (Sherrit)
in 2002. Pebercan expects to increase its production
as it brings more wells online.
Oil production for 2002 totaled 1,200 bbl/d. Oil production
has declined slightly since 2001 despite efforts of
Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) to expand oil
production. BNOC contracts with a consortium led by
Triassic. As Barbados has no refining capacity, its
oil is refined in Trinidad, and then returned for
Other Regional Developments
Jamaica announced in April 2003 that it plans
to restart exploration efforts off its southern coast.
Jamaica expects to receive support from Ecuador and
U.S. companies AES Ocean LNG and El Paso and Belgium's
Tractebel have plans to build regasification terminals
in the Bahamas, from where it would be piped
AES would construct a regasification terminal
at Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, along with a 54.3-mile
pipeline to Florida. The pipeline would have a capacity
of 842 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). AES has
already received provisional permission from both
the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
and the Bahamian government. Environmental impact
assessments will determine whether the project will
be able to proceed.
Tractebel, which also received approval from FERC
but is still waiting approval from Bahamian authorities,
would build a LNG regasification terminal in Freeport,
on Grand Bahama Island, as well as a 54-mile pipeline
(Calypso), with a capacity of 832 Mmcf/d.
El Paso has already received provisional approval
from the Bahamian government but not yet from FERC.
El Paso also plans to build its terminal on Grand
Bahama Island. The pipeline (Seafarer) would have
a capacity of 1 Bcf/d. The Bahamian government indicated,
however, that it would only accept two of the three
In November 2002, the Bahamian government granted
the oil company Kerr McGee a license to drill oil
in Bahamian waters.
Crude oil refining capacity in the Caribbean exceeds
1.7 million bbl/d. Smaller refineries are geared
towards meeting local demand, while the larger refineries
in Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago,
and the U.S. Virgin Islands serve both local and export
markets. The Hovensa refinery of St. Croix, owned
by Hess and the Venezuelan state oil company, PdVSA,
is among the largest in the Western Hemisphere. PdVSA
also operates the Curacao Isla refinery (the Netherlands
Antilles), which the company is in process of expanding.
PdVSA is investigating the possibility of building
two new refineries in the Dominican Republic, as well
as reactivating the Cienfuegos refinery in Cuba.
In August 2002, the Trinidad and Tobago government
granted Soreco Inc. approval for the construction
of a 224,000-bbl/d refinery. The refinery, the Sabaneta
Refinery Project, is expected to be completed in 2005.
However, it remains unclear whether the project will
move forward due to difficulties of securing $2 billion
in loans for the project. U.S. energy company El Paso
plans to sell its refinery on Aruba, Coastal Aruba
Refining Company, in 2003.
The Caribbean region has a number of independent petroleum
storage facilities, with the capacity to store approximately
100 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products.
In addition to long-term storage arrangements, these
facilities offer logistical options for petroleum
shipments. Islands with storage facilities include:
Bahamas, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Aruba,
and St. Eustatius, Curacao, and Bonaire of the Netherlands
Exports to the United States
In 2002, the continental United States imported about
390,000 bbl/d of petroleum from the Caribbean, of
which about 83% were petroleum products. The U.S.
Virgin Islands was the largest single regional exporter
to the United States (about 236,000 bbl/d of petroleum
products), followed by The Netherlands Antilles (about
74,000 bbl/d of petroleum products), and Trinidad
and Tobago (80,000 bbl/d of total crude and petroleum
products). Trinidad and Tobago is the only exporter
of crude oil (68,000 bbl/d) from the region.
Installed electric generating capacity in the Caribbean
exceeds 17 gigawatts (GW). In general, the region
needs additional capacity. Several countries (including
the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba) experience
power outages on a regular basis. Electricity demand
in the region is expected to grow substantially in
the coming decade.
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has been plagued by electricity
blackouts for years. In 1999, the former President
Leonel Fernandez privatized parts of the state-owned
Dominican Electricity Corporation (CDE) in the hope
of eliminating the country's power outage problems.
However, privatization has yet to assure a steady
supply of electricity to the population.
A dispute between the Dominican government and the
private companies which acquired parts of CDE in 1999
reportedly is partly responsible for the blackouts.
When CDE was split up, Union Fenosa (Edenorte and
Edesur subsidiaries) and AES (Edeeste subsidiary)
bought into the distribution network. In September
2002, the government and customers began falling behind
on their payments, leaving the private companies without
enough money to pay generators. The distributors periodically
stopped supplying electricity, resulting in blackouts.
Although current President Hipolito Mejia renegotiated
contracts between the government and private power
companies in an effort to solve the country's power
supply problems in September 2002, the situation has
Despite the need for further structural reform, foreign
firms continue to invest in the Dominican Republic's
power infrastructure. AES Andres, a subsidiary of
AES, has invested $400 million to construct an LNG
import terminal, a regasification facility, a pipeline
and a 300-MW combined cycle power plant, located outside
of Santo Domingo. The LNG terminal received its first
shipment in February 2003. However, since the 300-MW
power plant will not be completed until summer 2003,
the imported natural gas has been going to the Los
Mina power plant in Santo Domingo, which AES converted
from fuel oil to natural gas.
In April 2003, Canada signed two $35 million agreements
with the Dominican government to build hydroelectric
and renewable energy projects.
In March 2001, the U.S.-based utility, Mirant
Corporation, completed an 80% acquisition of formerly
government-owned Jamaica Public Service Company, the
island's main power provider. Mirant has stated that
it is making progress in reducing the number of blackouts
currently affecting Jamaica due to lack of capacity.
Including independent producers, installed capacity
is 700 MW, and Mirant expects to add 385 MW to the
system in 2003. Last year, Jamaica made the decision
to begin replacing fuel oil with natural gas for its
power plants and bauxite and alumina sectors. The
Jamaican government plans to import LNG to meet natural
In January 2000, Puerto Rico's primary electric power
producer and grid operator, publicly-owned Puerto
Rico Electrical Power Authority (PREPA), initiated
a $2.4 billion program to increase the island's electric
generation capacity. Economic growth in the late 1990s
averaged 3%, resulting in concerns that electricity
demands associated with economic growth would exceed
generation capacity. In response, PREPA began signing
contracts with independent power producers (IPPs)
to increase the island's generation capacity from
about 4.9 GW to 5.2 GW by 2003. A new 454-MW
power station, built by U.S.-based AES, is the first
coal-fired plant in Puerto Rico. The plant has the
additional benefit of being able to sell its steam
to Phillips Petroleum's Puerto Rico subsidiary. The
EcoElectrica and AES facilities are part of a general
plan to reduce Puerto Rico's dependence on oil for
electricity generation. In August 2000, the first
shipment of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago arrived at
Punta Guayanilla, near Ponce, where there is
an LNG receiving terminal used to supply gas to the
Only Jamaica and Cuba had significant amounts of power
generated from non-hydro renewable (geothermal, solar,
wind, wood and waste) electric sources in 2001. Cuba
produced approximately 0.8 billion kWh of renewable
power while Jamaica generated 0.1 billion kWh. The
Dominican Republic was the largest producer of hydroelectricity
in the Caribbean, with 0.7 billion kWh. This
was greater than hydropower produced by Cuba, Haiti,
Jamaica, and Puerto Rico combined.
Electricity in the Caribbean, 2001
Kitts and Nevis
Islands, British (UK)
Primary Energy Consumption in the Caribbean,
Kitts and Nevis
Islands, British (UK)
*Note: Because data and percentages
were rounded, not all will total 100%.
Crude Oil Refining Capacity (January 1, 2003)
||Coastal Aruba Refining
Refineria Dominicana de Petroleo/Haina
Subtotal, Dominican Republic
de la Raffinerie des Antilles/Fort-de-France
Caribbean Petroleum Refining/Bayamon
Subtotal, Puerto Rico
Co. of Trinidad & Tobago/Pointe-a-Pierre
|U.S. Virgin Islands
Source: Oil and Gas Journal, December 23, 2002
and company sources.
* Source: EIA Petroleum Supply Annual 2001.
Sources for this report include: Business News Americas;
CIA World Factbook 2002; Dow Jones News wire service;
Global Insight; Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire;
Energy Day; Financial Times; Latin America Monitor;
Latin American Newsletters; Lloyd's List; Oil and Gas
Journal; Oil Daily; Petroleum Economist; International
Market Insight Reports; U.S. Energy Information Administration;
Wall Street Journal; World Gas Intelligence; World Markets
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Home Page of the Free Trade Area of the Americas
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Trade Point Port
of Energy and Energy Industries (Trinidad and Tobago)
LNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago
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