NGC on the other hand has been continuing to fulfill its mandate of developing the gas-based industry. It has refocused its energies as the sole transporter and merchant of natural gas. In 2004, NGC transported and sold over 1.3 Bcf (excluding gas transported for LNG) to over 30 heavy consumers and over 100 small manufacturers. Today the share of natural gas in the total industrial energy demand in Trinidad and Tobago is now in excess of 90 percent, and additional growth is anticipated in the future.
The Cross-Island Pipeline Project (CIPP) and Beachfield Upstream Development Project (BUD) involve the construction of 56-inch and 36-inch-diameter lines on land and in the marine environments respectively, which on completion will increase the network by 143 km to 767 km, as well as increase capacity to 2.4 Bcf/d. These two projects are projected to be completed and commissioned at the end of 2005.
NGC’s other roles include its participation and management of strategic investments upstream. In 2005, NGC exercised the option of acquiring a 15% interest in the BP Teak, Samaan and Poui (TSP) offshore assets. The opportunity arose when bpTT decided to sell these offshore assets. However, in agreeing to the sale, the Government stipulated that a 15% interest must be reserved for the Government, or its designated agency or representative. NGC’s relationship in the field operations in TSP provided the company with the added zeal of expanding its investments in the upstream business, and in particular the TSP itself.
After being satisfied that the assets were commercially viable and that the assets had reserves of 60 million barrels of crude oil and 600 Bcf of gas, the decision was taken in July 2005 to go ahead with the investment. With the basic purchase price being US$229M, NGC will be expected to pay 15%. NGC expects that this investment in upstream developments will provide benefits and synergies for the Company’s offshore operations and strengthen the Company’s portfolio of investments.