PARAMARIBO, June 28 (Reuters) - Trinidad and Tobago's sales
of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe have doubled so far
this year to 40% of the total, Energy Minister Stuart Young said
on Tuesday, as demand continues growing amid a reduction of
Russian gas supplies.
Trinidad's LNG exports declined to 7.9 million tonnes last
year after the country, the largest producer of the fuel in
Latin America, had to shut one of its flagship project's
liquefaction trains due to lack of natural gas output.
The government is pushing for gas producers, including Shell
Plc, BP and Woodside Energy, to bring new
offshore production online later this year. But a decision has
not yet been made on whether to restart the inactive LNG train,
the minister said on the sidelines of an oil conference in
"(LNG) exports are expected to increase this year. There are
important conversations taking place on how to assist the rest
of the world, including Europe, by increasing LNG output. We
just need the gas," Young told Reuters.
Trinidad's gas output has dwindled in the last decade,
according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, amid
obstacles to developing its expensive offshore reserves. The
country is planning offshore, shallow-water and onshore
licensing rounds through 2023 to reverse the decline.
In parallel, Woodside's Ruby project is expected to deliver
80 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas, another 600 mmcfd
would come from BP's Matapal and Cassia compression projects and
Shell's Barracuda and Colibri areas would produce a combined 450
By 2026, Shell also could bring production online from the
Manatee field, Young said. The oil deposit there which extends
into Venezuelan waters, had been planned for joint development
by both governments since 2013, but Trinidad's decided last year
to produce gas independent of companies operating on the
Venezuelan side of the reservoir amid U.S. sanctions on the
South American country.
As gas producers rush to contribute more output, the future
of the 15 million tonnes per annum Atlantic LNG project - led by
BP, Shell, Repsol, Suez LNG and state-controlled NGC Trinidad -
depends on a move to restructure ownership of its three active
trains, which has not been completed.
In 2014, Trinidad exported over 14 million tonnes of LNG,
according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
(Reporting by Ank Kuipers, writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing
by Aurora Ellis)