Notwithstanding the global thrust to develop renewable sources of energy, fossil fuels, coal, crude oil and natural gas are expected to play a significant role in meeting the world's energy needs for decades to come. Natural gas with the highest hydrogen concentration among the fossil fuels is the preferred fossil fuel from an environmental impact standpoint. Trinidad and Tobago, like the rest of the world, is taking its petroleum exploration activities into deep water, its onshore and continental shelf provinces being fully explored. The development of petroleum reservoirs in deep water has many challenges.

This paper explores the unique challenges posed by developing deep water gas fields with a focus on the options available for monetising the natural gas produced from these fields. The options for getting gas to market are well known and include pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), gas to solid petrochemicals (GTS), gas to liquids (GTL) and gas to wire (GTW). Most of these options are operating in Trinidad and Tobago. The paper evaluates the financial outcomes from applying the pipeline, LNG and CNG options, either offshore or onshore, for gas extracted from deep water fields across a range of reserve levels and well productivities. It aims to establish criteria for deciding which means of monetisation is preferred. The reserve and productivity ranges reflect typical values encountered in the deep water provinces in Latin America, North America and Africa. These provinces account for 85% of all the deep water fields and 74 % the deep water reserves which have been discovered worldwide.

Because the paper focuses on the monetisation of natural gas, its findings will be applicable to any successful deep water exploration in Trinidad and Tobago because all situations, even the discovery of oil, will require that the associated gas be handled. The handling of gas has the potential of being on the critical path in deciding on the development of deep water fields in Trinidad and Tobago.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.