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Shell Trinidad and Tobago: Meeting Global Energy Demands

Shell is a global integrated energy company which aims to meet the world’s growing demand for energy in a way which is economically, environmentally and socially responsible. These key values for the global Shell Plc, are adopted by its Trinidad and Tobago division which today is the second largest natural gas producer in the region. With 3 offshore platforms, 2 onshore processing facilities and a logistics base, Shell Trinidad and Tobago has spent the last 100 years developing the country’s oil and gas industry towards local and international success.  

Shell has been operating in Trinidad and Tobago for over a century, where it has continued to play a major role in the development of the country’s oil and gas industry. When it began, Shell Trinidad and Tobago was thought to have been the largest private-sector employer in the country. In 1974, however, the oil industry nationalized which saw the government purchase Shell’s assets and created the region’s first national oil company. This saw Shell’s vast ownership within the region’s industry significantly reduce. But, in 2014, Shell acquired Repsol’s 20-25% non-operated interest in Atlantic LNG, the 6th largest global producer of liquified natural gas (LNG), which, in combination with the BG Group, saw Shell take on the role as a major upstream facilitator which supplied both petrochemical and LNG sectors thanks to its majority interest in Atlantic LNG across its 4-train facility. In addition to this acquisition, Shell Trinidad and Tobago also has 7 offshore and onshore blocks, which are either operated or non-operated. Consequently, Shell Trinidad and Tobago delivers an integrated gas operation which has continued to supply the petrochemical market and Atlantic LNG for years.  

Under Shell Trinidad and Tobago is the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) which is one of the most prolific gas-producing areas across the region. The company has developed strategies to access the significant volumes of gas that exist here and bring them into production. Within the ECAM are two assets; an offshore platform called the Dolphin Facility and an onshore processing facility in Beachfield. The first gas was delivered from Beachfield in 2021 within the Barracuda Project which was a backfill project with roughly 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) of sustained near-term gas production being produced, with a peak production expected to be at roughly 40,000 boe/d. The Barracuda project comprises 2 subsea wells which are some of the deepest development wells for Shell Trinidad and Tobago which are called the Endeavour Field and Bounty field. Both of the subsea wells are 100% owned by Shell Trinidad and Tobago and tie back into the Dolphin platform. This is Shell Trinidad and Tobago’s first greenfield project and remains one of the largest developments for the company since the BG Group Acquisition.  

The North Coast Marine Area (NCMA) is another key development for Shell Trinidad and Tobago which includes 2 offshore facilities, the Hibiscus and Poinsetta platforms, which in 2022 as part of the Colibri project delivered its first gas. Colibri, like the Barracuda Project, is a backfill project that is expected to add approximately 30,000 boe/d of sustainable near-term gas production to Shell Trinidad and Tobago’s portfolio. It is expected to have a peak production of nearly 43,000 boe/d made possible through a series of 4 subsea gas wells all of which are tied back into the existing Poinsetta Platform.  

In addition to these two central developments is the Central Block for which Shell Trinidad and Tobago have a 65% interest in, as well as the Beachfield site where Shell operates an onshore gas processing facility. These significant developments of Shell Trinidad and Tobago make it clear that they have strategically made acquisitions to expand its gas-producing potential and bring greater return on investment. However, this is not where Shell Trinidad and Tobago’s projects and initiative end, instead, alongside its energy delivery and processing, the company is working towards ‘powering progress’ which aims to accelerate its businesses and move the company’s operations towards more sustainable solutions.  

Sustainability is such a vital conversation when it comes to the discussion of oil and gas companies, and throughout Shell’s operations, it remains aware of its impact on the world whilst actively working to deliver energy in the most responsible way possible. This becomes a challenge as the growing demand for energy looks set to continually increase, and so companies such as Shell Trinidad and Tobago are constantly working with the government, local communities, and its partners to deliver energy that contributes to the country’s economic development whilst also respecting and protecting people and the planet as best it can. Furthermore, by doing so Shell Trinidad and Tobago are maximising the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago’s hydrocarbon resources to move the industry towards a more responsible and carbon-conscious world.  

Furthermore, as a multi-national corporation, Shell Trinidad and Tobago has a strong commitment to the citizens of the region, and so it aims to empower, nurture, and build sustainable solutions to allow future generations to also make the most of the resources available. Consequently, through educational and entrepreneurial STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programs, it can educate future generations to build a crucial understanding of energy gas production and its sustainable development to provide great returns for many years to come.  

In recent news, Shell Trinidad and Tobago have announced a new conventional gas development located in the shallow water across the region. Named the Manatee Field Offshore, the project is currently in the approval stage and is expected to start commercial production in 2028. As part of the development, Eni and McDermott International have been brought in as contractors to help with the design and FEED engineering of the offshore development. The engineering and construction company McDermott has been awarded a limited notice to proceed concerning engineering, procurement, construction, and installation. Once commissioned the gas will be used to supply both domestic and export markets from Trinidad and Tobago thus continuing the develop the region as a key player in the energy sector. The work, however, is currently subject to Shell making a final investment decision.  

Overall, Shell Trinidad and Tobago is such an expansive company which has continued to develop over the last 100 years to now play a significant role not just in the development of gas for domestic and export markets, but also in a way that respects the resources in which it is utilising. As a key integrated energy company, we expect to see Shell Trinidad and Tobago’s expansive role in the industry continue to grow – especially with the recent development of the Manatee Field Offshore facility which is set to vastly expand the company’s existing offerings. Therefore, in its goal to provide projects which respect the resources, bring development back to local communities, and continually generate shareholder value – it is clear to see why Shell Trinidad and Tobago remain a top gas producer across the region.