The future of Caribbean energy Unlocking the potential through regional cooperation

Author: David Bamford

The energy landscape in the Caribbean has been a tale of pioneering discovery, peak production, and subsequent decline, interwoven with the potential for revival through strategic regional cooperation. This narrative particularly resonates when examining the case of Trinidad & Tobago, once hailed as the Caribbean’s leading producer of natural gas, thanks to groundbreaking Exploration by Amoco followed by BP over two decades ago. These explorations unearthed significant gas reserves that catapulted Trinidad & Tobago to the forefront of the region’s energy production, achieving a peak output of 4 billion cubic feet per day in 2010. However, the subsequent years have seen a downturn in production levels, with recent figures indicating a decrease to 2.6 billion cubic feet per day. This reduction has had a considerable impact on the country’s capacity to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), ammonia, and methanol, underscoring a critical juncture in its energy narrative.

Trinidad & Tobago’s declining production: a closer look

The decline in Trinidad & Tobago’s natural gas production has been a point of concern for stakeholders within and beyond the country’s borders. According to a detailed analysis by S&P Global, this downward trajectory not only affects the nation’s export capabilities but also poses broader implications for the energy sector’s sustainability in the Caribbean.

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Breaking down silos: the path to collective energy security

The keynote by Andy Pepper, This is Petroleum Systems LLC, in our recent webinar served as a teaser for a visionary regional project aimed at breaking down these silos. By fostering cooperation among the National Oil Companies (NOCs) of each country, there is a unique opportunity to pool resources, share critical data, and leverage collective expertise. This collaborative endeavour could pave the way for a unified strategy to enhance exploration, production, and ultimately, energy security across the Caribbean.

The role of NOCs in regional energy collaboration

National Oil Companies hold the keys to unlocking the potential of the Caribbean’s natural gas reserves. By sharing data and insights, these entities can overcome historical barriers to cooperation, setting the stage for a new era of energy development. This paradigm shift towards regional collaboration could catalyse significant advancements in exploration technologies, production methodologies, and environmental stewardship, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous energy future for the Caribbean.

Towards a sustainable energy future: the Caribbean’s new horizon

The decline in Trinidad & Tobago’s natural gas production is a clarion call for regional action. By harnessing the collective might of the Caribbean’s NOCs and embracing a spirit of cooperation, the region can reclaim its status as a formidable energy producer. The path forward involves a blend of historical wisdom, innovative thinking, and unwavering commitment to collaboration. As we stand on the precipice of this new era, the promise of a sustainable, secure energy future for the Caribbean beckons.

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This analysis leverages insights and perspectives drawn from the wealth of knowledge shared by industry experts, including the illuminating presentation by Andy Pepper, This is Petroleum Systems LLC. By synthesising historical data, current challenges, and future prospects, it aims to spotlight the pivotal role of regional cooperation in charting a sustainable energy trajectory for the Caribbean.

S&P Global: “Arresting the Decline: Trinidad and Tobago’s Natural Gas Supply.” 

Finding Petroleum webinar 8 March 2024: Gas opportunities in the southern Caribbean

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