Is It Time to Focus on Unconventional Resources
Trinidad and Tobago is a small country and our remaining known reserves now stand at 570 million barrels of oil and about 27 trillion cubic feet of gas. These reserves are both on land and offshore. The challenge of ensuring long-term growth of the energy sector has been great. This country has been endowed with energy resources and as a result, oil and natural gas play a central role in the socio-economic development of the country. Simultaneously they provide the necessary infra-structural economic base for the country becoming an attractive host for foreign investments in the energy sector.
In the face of declining crude oil production, relatively modest natural gas prices and no deepwater success to date, the development of our unconventional resources should now be placed into the forefront of our energy future. The large volume and long-term potential of our unconventional resources pose a big challenge today but increasing prices and improved technology is the key to their development in the future. The current worldwide trend is a move from conventional to unconventional resources due to technology advances.
This paper will evaluate the potential of developing our unconventional resources which include heavy oil, tar sands, tight sands and gas hydrates. The demand for oil and natural gas will continue to increase for the foreseeable future and we must now rely on unconventional resources to fill the gap between demand and supply. This analysis looks at the implications for the future and the technologies required for developing our unconventional resources. The research required and the technology advancement would also be discussed.
Key words: Unconventional resources; Heavy oil; Tar sands; Tight sands; Gas hydrates; Trinidad and Tobago
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