Photo: Shell logo; Courtesy of Navingo

Shell cheers first gas from Trinidad and Tobago project

Oil major Shell has started production from Block 5C in the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA), also known as project Barracuda, located in Trinidad and Tobago, marking a milestone in the delivery of gas both domestically and internationally through Atlantic LNG.

Shell - Dolphin platform
Shell’s Dolphin platform; Photo courtesy of T&T Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs

Shell announced its Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Barracuda project in January 2020.

In an update on Thursday, Shell said that the first gas at Barracuda was reached on 18 July 2021. The project comprises two subsea wells, both 100 per cent Shell owned. One is in the Endeavour field and the other in the Bounty field and both are tied back to Shell’s Dolphin platform.

According to Shell, these are two of the deepest development wells in Trinidad and Tobago. Endeavour was drilled to a depth of 20,000 feet (6,096 metres) while Bounty was drilled to a depth of 16,000 feet (4,877 metres).

Maarten Wetselaar, Director of Integrated Gas, Renewable and Energy Solutions, said: “This is a key growth opportunity that supports our long-term strategy in the country as well as our global LNG growth ambitions”.

Block 5C, known as Project Barracuda, is a backfill project with approximately 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) (140 mmscf/d) of sustained near-term gas production with peak production expected to be approximately 40,000 boe/d (220 mmscf/d). It is Shell’s first greenfield project in the country and one of its largest in Trinidad and Tobago since the BG Group acquisition.

“We are immensely proud of our people and the remarkable work it took to achieve this milestone, particularly given that drilling began in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Eugene Okpere, Shell’s Senior VP and Country Chair.

“Our execution strategy had to be completely overhauled to deliver our business plan, all while working remotely. It required tremendous resilience, adaptability and commitment”.

The ECMA is one of the most prolific gas-producing areas in Trinidad and Tobago. As part of Shell’s development strategy, the company has sought ways to access the significant volumes that exist in the ECMA and to bring them online.

Shell is now working to deliver the four-well development project in Block 22 and NCMA 4, known as the Colibri project. This is a joint venture with Heritage Petroleum. The first gas from Colibri is expected in 2022.