Cutbacks cost Trinidad and Tobago producers 3% of natgas supplies

28 March 2012 21:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanol and ammonia producers in Trinidad and Tobago lost about 3% of their natural gas supplies during the past year from cutbacks by the state-owned utility, the country’s energy minister said on Wednesday.

Trinidad supplies 70% of US methanol imports and 60% of American ammonia imports. But production on the island has been reduced for more than a year because of gas curtailments to producers that began in late 2010.

Curtailments of natural gas supplies to methanol and ammonia producers at Point Lisas ranged from 10-30% each month through most of 2011 and have continued so far this year.

However, the total amount curtailed by the state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) during the 13-month period ended in February is not a double-digit percentage, according to Ramnarine.

“The NGC was unable to supply 3.34% of the natural gas demand of its customers,” Ramnarine said in an email. “This is due mainly to asset integrity work being conducted by BP.”

BP’s 13 offshore platforms supply about 65% of the gas to the state-owned utility, National Gas Co of Trinidad (NGC).

Officials at BP have said the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico forced the company to become more stringent about quality control on its offshore platforms.

Ramnarine said 56 natural gas outages during the February 2011-February 2012 period resulted in $8.05m (€6.04) in lost revenue to the Trinidad and Tobago government.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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