Gas Pipeline Extension To Barbados Still On Trini Cards

Even as it proceeds with plans to spend upwards of $155 million to construct a natural gas pipeline to its sister island of Tobago, Trinidad says it is still considering an extension of the line onward to Barbados.

The pipeline from Trinidad to Tobago is due for startup by first-quarter 2011, according to Arnold De Four, vice-president for commercial services of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Gas Co. (NGC).Barbados’ plans
The island nation has considered offshore drilling since the 1990s, when a study by Conoco Inc. noted promise in nearby areas. Barbados solicited its first bids in 2007, eventually offering 26 offshore blocks for oil and gas exploration in 2008.

Meanwhile, De Four said Trinidad is awaiting a goahead from the Barbados government, which is concerned about the project’s financial viability, on the proposal to extend the pipeline to Bridgetown. Although an extension of the line would add another market for the sale of Trinidad and Tobago’s gas, Barbados, which recently passed key legislation regarding hydrocarbons, is hoping to discover oil and gas of its own.


In July 2008, as the bidding process was under way, Venezuela complained that Barbados was auctioning areas that would penetrate Venezuela’s continental shelf in the Caribbean.

“This is an absolutely irregular situation so we’re communicating with the foreign ministry, which is taking action,” said Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez. “What is most important is that no one have any doubts that we will make our sovereignty respected.”

In January, Barbados awarded rights to just two blocks, both to BHP Billiton: the 2,498-sq-km Carlisle Bay block and the 2,506-sq-km Bimshire block.

Despite Venezuela’s belligerent stance, Philmore Best, deputy permanent secretary of Barbados’ energy ministry, said the former British colony still plans to open as many as 26 blocks for exploration.

Andre Brathwaite, Natural Resources Department director, said the Caribbean nation plans to negotiate directly with international oil companies instead of using a bid round.

Barbados produces just 1,100 b/d of its own oil from onshore wells. Barbados National Oil Co. sends the crude to Trinidad and Tobago for refining, after which it is brought back to Barbados.

BNOC’s production represents just 15% of Barbados’ fuel requirements, with the remaining 85% filled by imports.

Like its neighbor Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados has rejected offers by Caracas to join the PetroCaribe plan under which Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA offers low-priced crude under long-term payment plans



2 Responses to Gas Pipeline Extension To Barbados Still On Trini Cards

  1. Pingback: Gas Pipeline Extension To Barbados Still On Trini Cards « Bajan … | Ace Card's Caribbean Vacation

  2. Pingback: Barbados BHP Billiton Finalising Offshore Contracts « Bajan Global Report

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