Trinidad officials visit Houston to promote offshore bid

A senior Trinidadian minister visited Houston Friday to drum up enthusiasm for the country’s upcoming offshore auction.

Kevin Ramnarine, minister of energy and energy affairs for Trinidad and Tobago, was part of a government delegation that came to Houston to visit with potential investors in a share of six deep-water fields the country plans to develop.

Ramnarine said the auction is the second he has overseen as minister and he believes that the decision to use production sharing contracts, in which the government splits the produced oil with other investors, will add to the offer’s appeal.

“We have reinvested the upstream and opened up the deep water for exploration,” Ramnarine said in an interview with FuelFix. “There are now six production sharing contracts — all six have my signature on them. There will be more to come from this bidding round.”

Other efforts by the government to attract investment, such as lowering the tax rate for production, will also increase the auction’s chance of success, Ramnarine said.

The round will offer six offshore blocks for lease in the country’s east coast area and in the offshore area northeast of Venezuela. The blocks cover about 15,400 square miles with water depths from 2,000 to 11,000 feet. Bids will be accepted through January 2014.

Trinidad, one of the world’s biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas, also produces about 70,000 barrels of oil per day and plans to further develop its offshore fields, which contain both natural gas and oil.