BHP Billiton Building

BHP Billiton’s Ruby field will not mean any net additional gas will be added to the company or T&T’s natural gas production but would instead be used to keep present production at peak levels for a longer time.

Country Manager of BHP T&T, Michael Stone, told Guardian Media that at present, BHP produces from its Angostura field between 300 and 360 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) and Ruby will allow it to maintain production in the higher range.

He explained, “With just Angostura it ranges between 300mmscf/d and 360mmscf/d. What we would expect Curtis is with the 80mmscf/d coming on from Ruby, it allows us to produce at the upper end of that range sustainably, but it’s not going to increase beyond the upper end of that range.

“What it’s going to do, fortunately, is it’s going to elongate the profile and allow us to produce at the higher end of that range for the longer period of time, but it’s not going to take us beyond that upper end of the range to answer your question.”

On Tuesday, BHP announced first oil production from Ruby.

The field is located offshore Trinidad and Tobago in the shallow water in Block 3(a) within the Greater Angostura Field. The development consists of both oil and gas production from the Ruby and Delaware reservoirs via five production wells and one gas injector well tied back into existing Angostura processing facilities.

The company said Ruby closely aligns with BHP’s Petroleum strategy of advancing high return growth opportunities tied back to established infrastructure.

“At completion, Ruby is expected to have capacity to produce up to 16,000 gross barrels of oil per day and 80 million gross standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Stone explained that BHP’s production is also impacted by demand since it moves based on the downstream need for gas and what is happening to other upstream operators.

“Right now our gas production from just Angostura ranges between 300 and 360 but it depends very much on downstream demand, and as you can imagine that demand has been a little difficult to predict because of downstream activity and other upstream operators who have interruptions and so on.” Stone told Guardian Media.

In making the announcement of first oil on Tuesday BHP President Petroleum, Geraldine Slattery said: “The start-up of Ruby represents continued development of BHP’s oil and gas production facilities in Trinidad and Tobago, re-enforces the quality of the resource and its investment competitiveness. An Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) seismic survey acquired by BHP and the Block 3(a) partners in 2018, was utilised to illuminate and optimally position the Ruby Project development wells.

“This marks a significant milestone for our Petroleum business and our future in Trinidad and Tobago.”

For Stone achieving first oil safely and ahead of schedule reflected the tenacity of the Ruby project team together with its industry and Government partners who persevered to deliver this project amid a global pandemic.

“This important milestone also highlights BHP’s continued commitment to doing business in Trinidad and Tobago as we celebrate 25 years of operations here this year.” He noted.

BHP last month celebrated 25 years in T&T and Stone spoke about the company’s future plans with Guardian Media’s Lead Editor Curtis Williams which will be publish in detail in the Sunday’s Business Guardian.