PRESIDENT of BPTT Claire Fitzpatrick said that since 2019, the company told the Government that it did not have gas to maintain its supply for Train 1.
Speaking Tuesday on Brighter Morning with Bhoe, a show hosted by former MP Bhoe Tewarie on MCTV, Fitzpatrick said it was important to ensure there was line of sight of gas before they entered into new contracts.
“In 2019, we had drilled some wells which we hoped and anticipated to deliver a sizable body of gas to be able to enter into a new contract for Train 1,” she said.
Unfortunately, she said, BPTT did not discover the gas which it had anticipated to enter into a new contract for Train 1.
“That was public knowledge in 2019 and that has continued to be the case. We continue to do all we can to maximise production from our existing facilities and to progress new developments to offset the decline. The gas fields, by their very nature, when you are producing from them, decline. So you have to add activities in order to try and hold yourself flat,” she said.
Asked by Tewarie if the decision not to invest in Train 1 was also based on the fact that BPTT had contractual obligations to supply gas to other trains, Fitzpatrick said: “What you want to try to do is have line of sight for the supply of gas before you enter into a contract to sell the gas. We previously had contracts over all the four trains and for NGC (State-owned National Gas Company). With the Train 1 contract expiring (in 2019), we did not have gas nor did we have a contract (for Train 1).”
She explained that BPTT has current contracts to supply gas to Trains 2, 3 and 4 as well as the NGC and therefore those are the contracted commitments that the global multinational energy company looks to fulfill first.
“We are actually short of gas even on those trains (2, 3 and 4). So I am actually paying penalties at the moment for not having enough gas to meet all of my commitments across all of the existing trains and NGC,” Fitzpatrick said.
In early 2020, NGC, a 10 percent shareholder in Train 1, spent US$33 million to fund the turnaround of Atlantic Train 1 in anticipation of gas.
The decision by the NGC has been criticised by the Opposition but defended by the Government.
In the Senate on Tuesday, Energy Minister Stuart Young said that no decision has been taken to decommission Atlantic LNG’s Train 1.
Responding to questions from UNC Senator Wade Mark in the Senate, Young said the shareholders of Train 1 continue to be in discussions on the future of all Atlantic LNG operations and the sharing of costs and income associated therewith.
Young said if Train 1 was closed in 2020, it would also have had an adverse impact on the complex negotiations between the Government and the shareholders, who are BP, Shell, State-owned National Gas Company (NGC) and China Investment Corporation. That would have placed the Government and NGC in a disadvantageous position in the long term regarding its Atlantic shareholding, which is a critical revenue stream for Trinidad and Tobago and its citizens.