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BP's Trinidad NatGas Compression Project Ramps Up

A unit of BP plc has ramped up a natural gas compression project onshore Trinidad, one of seven major upstream projects the super major expects to bring online in 2017.

BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC (bpTT) said full start-up of the Trinidad onshore compression (TROC) project is slated to take place over the next few months, eventually able to deliver up to 200 MMcf/d of gas. The improved capacity would allow bpTT to increase output from low-pressure wells in existing acreage in the Columbus Basin, using an additional inlet compressor for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Point Fortin Atlantic LNG facility.

The BP unit operates in 904,000 acres off Trinidad's east coast, with 13 offshore platforms and two onshore processing facilities.

"Delivered on-time and on-budget, this major infrastructure project is part of BP's plan to bring 500,000 boe/d of new production capacity online by the end of 2017 and paves the way for Juniper, our other major project start-up in Trinidad and Tobago this year," said BP upstream chief Bernard Looney.

The TROC project was sanctioned last July following agreements between Atlantic shareholders, the National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and other directly impacted upstream operators.

"The TROC project is a clear example of bpTT, the government and many key players in the oil and gas industry cooperating to improve production capacity, which will benefit both the petrochemical plants and Atlantic," said bpTT Regional President Norman Christie. "Though start-up will be phased, we anticipate an improvement in gas production in 2017 as a result of TROC and the planned start-up of Juniper later this year."

The TROC plant is 100% funded and owned by bpTT, with Atlantic LNG Co. of Trinidad and Tobago serving as the operator.

Once it begins operations, the second project, Juniper, would receive gas from the Corallita and Lantana fields 50 miles off the southeast coast of Trinidad in water depths of about 360 feet. Five subsea Juniper wells were begun in May 2015 by the Diamond Ocean Victory semi-submersible rig. First gas is expected this year, with gas flowing from Juniper to the Mahogany B hub via a 10 kilometer in-field flowline that was installed in 2016.

The twin-island nation of T&T in the early 2000s served as the major source of LNG for the U.S. market, supplying almost 80% of imported gas. The nation's good fortune was fueled by a partnership between BP, the former BG plc (now part of Royal Dutch Shell plc), Spain's Repsol SA and the National Gas Co. of T&T to build the first of four large LNG plants. The venture began exporting gas in 1999.

BP in 2000 also discovered at the time the largest T&T offshore gas field. An initial well on the Red Mango field east of Galeota Point indicated 3 Tcf of gas reserves and about 90 million bbl of condensate.

T&T remains the largest oil and gas producer in the Caribbean. Now, however, operators are looking to other export markets as North America's unconventional gas reserves have grown. BP and a bevy of producers now are training their projects toward developing gas for local use, including growing petrochemical projects, and global markets.

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