Apr 26, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Trinidadian Energy Expert, Anthony Paul, is of the firm view while the government of Guyana’s intention to bring gas-to-shore is certainly with merit, studies rationalizing the project must be done in advance.
During an exclusive interview, Paul noted that Guyana has approximately 12 trillion cubic feet of gas. He said, “That’s more than T&T has! Plus, yours is very rich gas, meaning it has lots of propane (LPG), butane (lighter fuel), condensate (very light oil) and natural gasolines (i.e. you don’t need a refinery to get this gasoline.) If you don’t bring it ashore, ExxonMobil will burn it.”
Given that gas accounts for approximately 20 percent of the discovered resources in the Stabroek Block totalling nine billion oil equivalent resources, Guyana has three choices: burn it, bury it, or monetize it. Since burning it is not the preferred option and burying it avoids numerous opportunities for earning foreign exchange and expanding Guyana’s development potential, the obvious route is monetizing it.
The energy strategist cautioned, in the context of the ongoing debate about the viability of the project, “By all means, oppose government when they’re doing wrong or doing the right thing the wrong way, but make the distinction. Don’t oppose the idea of what they’re doing because of their approach. Suggest an alternative approach and make the case.”
To underscore the need for Guyana to make use of its gas resources, Paul noted that Trinidad and Tobago had started its natural gas industry by forming a National Gas Company to take flared gas from Amoco. That later became a multi-billion dollar company.
Paul said, “Companies working the Guyana Basin will avoid drilling for natural gas or producing it when it’s discovered, even though it may be there in abundant quantities. They just want to make the highest return on their investment and the time factor in getting discovered gas molecules converted to equity in their balance sheets is far too long in comparison to oil. So you do not know how much you have or how much you can produce. In the early days, they did the same thing in T&T and the government had to step on to stimulate natural gas exploration.”
He added, “After proving there were enough reserves for a natural gas industry, the second main thing the government did was to invest in infrastructure, starting with pipelines. Without that, T&T’s industry would have been on its deathbed 20 years ago.”
With this in mind, Paul contended that gas to shore is not the enemy, flaring is. Even though he supports Guyana monetizing its gas finds, Paul categorically stated that “there absolutely must be studies first. That’s not in doubt.” He said, “The studies will tell you how much to take to shore, how quickly, what size pipeline you need, what you do with it, what contract terms you need for each stage and who you contract to do each stage.”
Paul said that if Guyana approaches gas to shore with this mindset, it would be on the pathway to the responsible development of its resources.
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