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Energy Report Trinidad & Tobago 2017

Energy Report Trinidad & Tobago 2017

  • November 2017
  • ID: 3451852


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  • Hydrocarbons still play an important role in Trinidad and Tobago's economy, but a rapid fall in prices and production volumes has reduced the sector's relative importance in recent years. Hydrocarbons accounted for 19% of GDP in 2016 (compared with 45% in 2011), 8% of fiscal revenue (down from 47% in 2011) and an estimated 50% of exports (from a peak of 76% in 2009).
  • International prices for natural gas have fallen considerably in recent years. After averaging almost US$9/million British thermal units (mmBtu) in 2008, US Henry Hub prices fell sharply in 2009-16 as significant new supply has come on stream. Prices have rebounded slightly from a low of US$1.49/mmBtu in early 2016, but at around US$3/mmBtu in November 2017 remain relatively low. The Henry Hub price previously served as the reference price for Trinidadian gas exports, but-given that much less gas is sold to the US-European and Asian gas prices (which have fared better, although they remain well below previous highs) are more important for Trinidad and Tobago. More than half of Trinidad and Tobago's gas exports currently go to Latin American markets-which will remain important-where delivered prices are above the US Henry hub benchmark.
  • Trinidadian production of natural gas and crude petroleum fell by 13.2% and 8.9% year on year respectively in 2016, driven primarily by maintenance and upgrade programmes of energy companies. Natural gas production averaged 3.3bn cf/day in the first nine months of 2017 (similar to the full-year 2016 average), while oil production averaged 72,250 barrels/day (b/d) in the same period (slightly up on 2016). Delays in the construction of the Mitsubishi/NGC/Massy petrochemicals project and in the development by BG Group (UK) and Chevron (US) of the Starfish field, situated off the east coast of Trinidad and Tobago, which will boost gas supply to the domestic market in the medium term, have been hurting growth. Slippage in gas output is also affecting downstream industries.
  • In the longer term, Trinidad and Tobago's low reserves/production ratios for both oil and gas put the government under substantial pressure to diversify the economy. At the current rate of depletion, the country's hydrocarbons reserves will be exhausted in around eight years.

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