Trinidad and Tobago Offering Shallow-Water Blocks

Nation also changes fiscal regime to attract new investment.

Shallow leases map
Source: Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.

Trinidad and Tobago has launched an auction of 13 shallow-water oil and gas exploration blocks, more than double the number of blocks in its last auction, said Reuters.

In 2019, the government offered six blocks and a Shell and BP consortium bid for three, but those bids were rejected by the government for failing to meet the minimum threshold.

Trinidad is Latin America’s largest producer of LNG, with installed capacity of 15 mtpa.

The government is offering 13 shallow-water blocks, all located on the continental shelf near areas where both oil and gas are being produced. The round’s period for receiving bids will finish in early April.

Trinidad Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced changes to the fiscal regime, including a reduction in tax liability for shallow-water producers, which the country hopes will make it more attractive.

Among the changes are an increase of cost recovery to 60% from 50; the windfall tax was reduced to 50% from 70; the period for exploration increased to 8 years from 6; and the bid fee was reduced to $30,000 from $40,000.

BP and Shell recently signed production-sharing contracts to explore three deepwater blocks in Trinidad and are the largest shareholders in the country’s flagship LNG project, Atlantic LNG.