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Energy Minister Franklin Khan.

Curtis Williams

[email protected]

Australian outfit BHP has confirmed that it’s recent search for oil in Trinidad and Tobago’ deep water ended in failure with the Broadside-1 well being a dry hole.

In its quarterly operational review, the company said it has abandoned the well after the failure to encounter hydrocarbons.

It said: “In Trinidad and Tobago, the Broadside-1 exploration well in the Southern Licence reached the main reservoir on 22 October 2020 and did not encounter hydrocarbons. The well was a dry hole and was plugged and abandoned on 8 November 2020. The results are under evaluation to determine next steps on the Southern Licences.”

On October 29 last year, the Business Guardian reported exclusively that BHP’s deep-water well Broadside-1 had failed to find oil or gas and was a dry hole. The well, which carried with it the hopes of T&T and the expectation of a massive deep water oil discovery, proved unsuccessful.

At the time, neither the company nor the Government of Trinidad and Tobago were prepared to confirm the development. However, in light of BHP’s latest announcement, Energy Minister Franklin Khan admitted the failure.

“The Broadside-1 well was drilled in the acreage off the South East Coast and that was drilled as an oil prospect and obviously it is now official that was basically a dry hole. They found reservoirs but they did not find the charge, what they call the thermogenic charge that would produce the liquid hydrocarbons…that in no way diminishes the potential of the North East acreage,” Khan said yesterday.

On September 15, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley hosted an event at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, at which he praised the company for its continued interest in T&T and noted that BHP had begun drilling its Broadside-1 well, which was expected to test the oil play within BHP’s Southern Deep-water Blocks, which include TTDAA 3, 5 and 6.

“If the finds of the Broadside well are promising, it can inform the drilling of further exploration wells in nearby blocks. Additionally, a commercial discovery in any of Broadside’s Miocene targets could de-risk the majority of the prospective resources identified by Netherland, Sewell and Associates, Inc (NSAI) in its audit of the country’s crude oil reserves and resources for year-end 2018,” Rowley noted then.

But this was not to be and shortly after the event, the drilling of the well encountered problems with stuck pipes and while the company was able to eventually continue drilling, it never found any oil nor gas.