Deep-water has long been proclaimed as the hydrocarbon frontier with huge potential of resources. The offshore basins of West Africa, Gulf of Mexico and Brazil are particularly known for deep-water campaigns. Trinidad and Tobago is no stranger to deep-water activity having drilled eight deep water wells in the last decade. After a period of dormancy, it may soon rejoin its global counterparts as it prepares to dive into the deep yet again.

In 2011 and 2012, two deep water bid rounds were held and ten companies/consortia dared to venture into the deep but only three won the opportunity. Eleven thousand, six hundred and fifty seven square kilometres (11, 657 km2) was awarded out of a total acreage of twelve thousand, eight hundred and six square kilometres (12, 806 km2) for the past two bid rounds. With such potential activity, Trinidad and Tobago's commercial success in the deep may seem to be imminent but this is far from certain as exploration and development costs are substantially higher than those in our shallower areas. While commercial success is dependent on government share, hydrocarbon volumes and project costs, this paper focuses only on the latter.

This paper compares and analyses Trinidad and Tobago's proposed Deep-water development project costs with other global deep-water field development costs, by investigating scenarios in terms of estimated development capital and operational expenditure and associated volumes. Capex and Opex of USD 12-14 Bn was required for developments between 500-750 mmbbl and the average global sample estimated for this volume range was USD 13 Bn. The paper concludes that Trinidad and Tobago's proposed project costs are indeed in line with other global developments.

Undoubtedly, deep water exploration and development demands huge investments. Trinidad and Tobago's deep-water venture will soon commence and understanding these proposed costs would shed some light on its position in the deep and help prepare for what lies ahead.

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