Technologies for efficient production in Trinidad Baker Hughes Nigel-YIP-CHOY

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Nigel YIP CHOY Caribbean Area Director BAKER HUGHES

Technologies for efficient production in Trinidad

June 8, 2023

Nigel Yip Choy, Caribbean area director for Baker Hughes, talks to The Energy Year about the type of activities taking place in the Trinidadian upstream and the technologies that can produce the most efficient output from the country’s operating fields. Baker Hughes is an energy technology company that provides solutions to energy and industrial customers worldwide.

This interview is featured in The Energy Year Trinidad & Tobago 2023

How would you describe the type and volume of E&P activity in Trinidad?
Oil and gas companies have a choice of where they want to invest their money, and the T&T government understands that creating incentives is an important part of attracting that investment. This is made more urgent by the fact that we have a gas deficit in the country. It’s a matter of competing with other countries for capex. Fortunately, we have the distinct advantage of already having the downstream infrastructure that allows monetisation of gas.
There have been some key oil exploration and development projects because oil is much easier to monetise than gas. One operator made a push to increase their oil production through capital expenditure. We have some discoveries that have been made in the deepwater off the north coast. Although they have not been sanctioned, there is work ongoing to plan the FEED works, which will hopefully lead to a final investment decision.
The main projects we are seeing in Trinidad now are related to advantaged gas. Those represent some very interesting projects, because rather than having to drill brand new wells, build a platform and so on, the operator is able to leverage the existing infrastructure and sidetrack off of the existing wells into adjacent, smaller reservoirs. This means that they can get the gas on stream quickly, cheaply and with minimal greenhouse gas emissions.
That is a short-term way of bolstering our gas supply. But ultimately, what we need for the long term is to see the development of large pools of hydrocarbons in order for us to really have a sustainable volume moving forward.
We are very optimistic that another major operator will get government approval for a large cross-border gas development. This will add between 300 and 600 mcf [8.5 and 17 mcm] per day to supply. Meanwhile, additional new field developments in the Columbus Basin are scheduled through 2028.

What actions do you see being taken to maximise production from existing wells?
Workover and recompletion activity will result in some incremental additional oil production. During the period 2021-2022, one operator moved from gas lift to submersible pumps in order to increase production and also monetise the gas they were using for artificial lift. This seems to have been a success.


What new technologies can produce the most efficient output from the operating fields?
Regarding gas, the first step to optimise production is ensuring wells are located in the right part of the reservoir. To aid in this, we offer geosteering technologies, which allow us to model the reservoirs. Then during the planning and execution phases, we use the measurements from our MWD [measurement-while-drilling] and LWD [logging-while-drilling] tools to validate that we are within the optimal part of the reservoir.
As we drill further into the reservoir, we’re able to use our rotary steerable technologies to adjust the well path so that we stay in the most productive part of the reservoir itself. Once the well is drilled into the reservoir, we deploy a number of completion technologies and production chemicals to make sure that we have the optimal production going forward.
Regarding oil, it is fairly similar.

Regarding Baker Hughes’ regional expansion, how significant is the company’s recently opened “supercentre” complex in Guyana?
The supercentre in Guyana is home to multiple product lines under our Oilfield Services & Equipment business segment. From there, we provide production chemicals for the FPSOs, subsea equipment and all of the well construction services. That facility is focused entirely on Guyana right now, and will continue to focus there as their oil and gas industry is growing. ExxonMobil continues to make new discoveries, and production is projected to grow to more than 1 million barrels by 2030.
The government of Guyana is opening up bids for other players, which creates the potential for multiple customers in Guyana. So, the supercentre would serve all of those customers in Guyana.

How do you find the Guyanese approach to local content in developing their oil and gas sector compares to Trinidad’s?
Local content is an important and nuanced aspect of development. It’s important to develop local companies and a local workforce with the skills to deliver value-added services. It takes time. Trinidad is a well-established player in the oil and gas industry, and over time a local network of companies with technical maturity that can provide reliable and high-quality services has developed.
Guyana has that same opportunity before it, as it begins its own journey as it seeks to leverage the incredible resource discoveries that have been made over the past few years. But its local content development must involve a transition over time. A patient, strategic approach to local content will yield amazing fruits without disincentivising foreign direct investment in the market.

What steps has Baker Hughes been taking to contribute towards decarbonisation efforts?
Our Industrial & Energy Technology segment is creating technologies and solutions at the heart of industrial productivity and reduced emissions. Through our broad array of solutions, we are unlocking the ability to transform, transfer and transport energy efficiently, while capturing and cutting emissions, solving a fundamental challenge behind the energy transition: reducing environmental impact, while maximising efficiency, productivity and reliability.
We’re developing technologies to decarbonise, including turbines that can run on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas – or on hydrogen entirely. In conjunction with that, we are investing in companies that have emerging technologies to extract CO2 from existing plumes, or from the air.
In our portfolio of products, we’re able to compress CO2, transport it, inject it, monitor the injection and manage the CO2 in that way.

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