An estimated 1 Tcf of natural gas has been found off the southeastern coast of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, according to a unit of BP plc.

The London-based producer’s Trinidad and Tobago unit (BPTT) said Monday the discovery would double the estimated gas in place at the Savonette gas field to 2 Tcf. The Savonette No. 4 appraisal well, which is about 80 kilometers off the southeastern coast of Trinidad, was drilled into an untested fault block east of the original discovery well in the Columbus Basin in water depths of almost 300 feet. The well was drilled to a total depth of 18,678 feet and penetrated hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs in two intervals with discovered gas in place exceeding initial estimates.

The No. 4 gas well began producing in October, flowing at a rate of about 225 MMcf/d and ramping up to 250 MMcf/d, the company said. Based on the success of the Savonette well, BPTT is proposing to drill two more development wells into the reservoirs.

“This is exciting news for both BPTT and the industry since this represents the largest discovery for BPTT since 2005,” said BPTT President Norman Christie. “The significant investment in the Savonette 4 well and the potential further investment in two additional development wells, combined with the investment in the ocean bottom cable seismic acquisition, is testament to BPTT’s ongoing commitment to the development of our Trinidad and Tobago operations and the wider industry.

“This discovery demonstrates that with the right technology, we can continue to uncover the full potential of the Columbus Basin.”

The Savonette field was discovered in 2004 by the Chachalaca exploration well. That well began producing five years later through an unmanned platform, according to BPTT. The producer holds exploration and production licenses covering an estimated 904,000 acres offshore Trinidad and Tobago’s east coast, and it has a 100% working interest in the Savonette well.

BPTT’s average production in 2011 was 2.2 Bcf/d of gas and 31,000 b/d of oil. According to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Energy Chamber, the country consumes about 1.4 Tcf every year. The latest discovery is welcome news, said Energy Chamber President Roger Packer.

“Something like this encourages investor confidence and inspires longevity to the sector,” he said of the discovery. “Over the last two years there was quite a pickup in exploration. Traditionally there is a find in one in every seven wells, so the more exploration, the greater the chances of a find.”

According to the Annual Energy Review published in September by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Trinidad and Tobago gas imports into the United States were second only to Canada from 2010 to 2011 at 129 Bcf (see Daily GPI, Sept. 28). Until natural gas prices plunged, the country had been a big liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier to North America; ; it has been one of the top providers to the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, NB (see Daily GPI,July 25; March 2).

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