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Heading Downstream

Sep 1, 2005

Soaring oil and gas prices are pounding Caribbean economies. But Trinidad & Tobago, the region's largest producer of gas and oil, is flying high.

Oil prices are up about 40% this past year and show signs of rising further, a phenomenon that is confounding Caribbean governments from the Bahamas to Grenada. But high oil prices bring good tidings to Trinidad & Tobago. The energy sector accounts for the bulk of Trinidad & Tobago's annual exports of $7.1 billion and generates one-third of annual government revenues of $20 billion. Unfortunately, oil reserves are being depleted faster than new discoveries can be made. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) warns that unless Trinidad & Tobago makes substantial new discoveries soon, its oil reserves could be depleted within a decade. In 2004, Trinidad & Tobago was producing 165,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production, of which 80% was crude oil. Production continues increasing, with BHP Billiton's Angostura field coming on-stream this year. The field, which has an estimated 310 million barrels of recoverable reserves, is set to...

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