The transformative potential of Trinidad's Calypso field Woodside TrinidadJuan-VazQUEZ

Under the right circumstances, the Calypso field could unlock deepwater provinces for Trinidad and Tobago.

Juan VÁZQUEZ Trinidad and Tobago President and Country Manager WOODSIDE ENERGY

The transformative potential of Trinidad’s Calypso field

August 25, 2023

Juan Vázquez, Woodside Energy’s Trinidad and Tobago president and country manager, talks to The Energy Year about the local impact of Woodside’s merger with BHP Petroleum and the transformative potential of the Calypso discovery. Australian international energy player Woodside operates the shallow water Greater Angostura field offshore Trinidad and Tobago.

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

What significance does the merger between Woodside and BHP Petroleum hold for the company and its operations in Trinidad and Tobago?
We were excited about the merger as the combined company is very financially and operationally strong and has a more diversified portfolio. Woodside was previously an Australia-focused company, so merging with BHP’s petroleum business gave us a greater international footprint.
There are no changes to the operations in Trinidad and Tobago as a result of the merger. The core operating values of Woodside remain the same: putting safety first, positively supporting the environment, positively impacting our communities and building collaborative relationships with the government and industry peers. We are now branded as Woodside Energy.

What plans are there for the operating offshore blocks acquired with the merger?
The Greater Angostura field has been producing since 2005, and we started producing from the Ruby field in 2021. Our gas assets have been producing approximately 340 mcf [9.6 mcm] per day and our oil assets have been producing approximately 6,300 bopd. We currently contribute slightly more than 10% of the country’s gas production, and we’re doing everything we can to continue to maintain those levels.
We now have Calypso as our main avenue for further growth. Among our developed fields, Angostura is a mature asset, and part of the mature asset operation strategy is to continue looking for opportunities to maximise production, such as further opportunities for drilling or doing workovers.

What challenges or opportunities come with developing deepwater projects in Trinidad and Tobago?
I prefer to look at the deepwater more in terms of what the opportunities to develop it are, rather than to see it as a challenge. Deepwater developments are unique in that they give you a different perspective on the technology you have to use. You need to consider the temperature of the water, which creates additional complexities and requires certain facilities to secure the flow of gas. A deepwater development requires a large investment – it’s a multi-billion-dollar project.
Identifying the right development concept is very important because that determines the size of your capex outlay. It takes time because you need to do a very good job of characterising the subsurface. Even though Trinidad and Tobago is gifted with hydrocarbons-rich geology, its geology is very active tectonically as it is close to fault lines. Most reservoirs also require drilling a number of wells to effectively maximise production.


What does the development of the Calypso field represent for Trinidad and Tobago’s gas production?
We see Calypso as a strategic resource for the country. The field has been appraised to determine the size of the resource and how many wells need to be drilled. It’s a resource estimated at 3.2 tcf [90.6 bcm]. Under the right circumstances and commercial solution, and with the right developmental and fiscal terms, it could represent unlocking deepwater provinces for the country.
The first deepwater projects in the country will have to bear the brunt of the risk and the capital. Then afterwards, there will be more of a possibility of bringing on line smaller resources that could be in the area because the production facilities will be there.

What opportunities does the potential Calypso project signal for Woodside Energy and the Trinidad and Tobago economy?
Calypso is in an early conceptual stage. We have not yet started the front-end engineering design work. The first step will be to identify the development concept. Calypso involves multiple discoveries – meaning that we drilled a number of wells, and there are multiple discoveries within the blocks.
The second step is to come up with the right commercial solution for the resource. The gas market is a little bit different from the oil market so we need to identify the offtakers for the gas. The commercial strategy – marketing the gas and negotiating the right terms – is a very important aspect for creating value.
In this case, to collaborate in-country, we would need to negotiate with NGC and Atlantic LNG, which are the two main outlets for market access here. Trinidad and Tobago has an installed capacity that exceeds the current supply of gas, so we have an opportunity to determine the best place for that gas.
We are working on understanding what the commercial arrangements would be to direct that gas to the best place, not only for our company, but for all the people in Trinidad and Tobago. We’re working closely with industry peers, partners, NGC and the Ministry of Energy to come up with the right commercial solution.

With such a major investment in Trinidad and Tobago, how important is local content for the company?
Local content is very important to us. We always look at how much local content we can incorporate in our projects, as a commitment to make sure that we can maximise our positive impact on this country. We have a significant number of Trinidad and Tobago citizens working within the company in different countries. For us, Trinidad and Tobago nationals have provided talent to various locations globally.

What is the significance of the controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) survey that was carried out at the Calypso field in 2022?
The CSEM survey is part of our plan for characterising the subsurface. It provides additional data about the resource contained in the rocks. It’s an innovative way of achieving something similar to a seismic survey, but quicker, and the integrity of the data we gathered is good. That was the first time that technology has been applied in Trinidad and Tobago, and we’re very happy to be the first company to have used that new technology in the country.

What is Woodside Energy’s strategy to decarbonise in accordance with the Paris Agreement?
We have a climate strategy made up of two parts. The first part is to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 net equity emissions by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, and we have an aspiration to be net zero by 2050. We have decarbonisation plans for all of our operations and have been refreshing them since the merger.
An example of the action we’re taking is assessing our methane emissions to make sure we know the baseline that we’re going to reduce from. There is a plan for every one of our assets.
The second part of our climate strategy is our target to invest USD 5 billion in new energy and lower-carbon products and services by 2030. We will look at different places around the world to see where we can deploy that investment. It is aimed at reducing Scope 3 emissions – the emissions from our customers.

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