DeNovo Energy Ltd. successfully brought online the Iguana and Zandolie natural gas developments offshore Trinidad and Tobago in Block 1(a), adding supply through the monetization of stranded gas reserves and use of unmanned platforms that boast unique technological and carbon emission advantages.

Iguana has nameplate delivery capacity of 80 MMcf/d while Zandolie, tied to Iguana, has a capacity of 40 MMcf/d. Combined the platforms have the potential to deliver much-need gas for consumption by petrochemical plants in Point Lisas Industrial Estate located in the central-west region of Trinidad.

“There are many opportunities in the Gulf of Paria that we are exploring and with Zandolie being tied in to Iguana, we have proof of concept that Iguana can become a hub for further development in the Gulf of Paria,” DeNovo told Hart Energy in an emailed response to questions on July 29.

DeNovo, part of the Proman family of companies, is the operator of Block 1(a) with an 80% interest while the National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (NGC), through NGC E&P Investments Ltd. has a 20% interest in the block.

Hart Energy August 2022 - DeNovo Boasts Tech Advantage to Monetize Stranded Gas in Trinidad - DeNovo Energy Trinidad and Tobago Asset Map
Map of DeNovo Energy’s Trinidad and Tobago assets. (Source: DeNovo Energy Ltd.)

The Iguana and Zandolie projects are in line with the strategic priorities of DeNovo and NGC to boost gas production in Trinidad. The developments are governed by separate gas sales agreements between Pt. Lisas-based DeNovo and NGC.

Delivery of initial production from Iguana in November 2018 cemented the project as the first gas development to take place in the Gulf of Paria, off Trinidad’s west coast. Zandolie, which delivered first gas in July, was only the second development to be completed in the block, according to DeNovo.

Gulf of Paria Developments

Block 1 (a) is located approximately 45 km offshore Trinidad from Pt. Lisas. The block, home to Iguana and Zandolie where water depths range from 80 ft to 90 ft, is limited to the west by the maritime border with Venezuela.

“Monitoring and control for both Zandolie and Iguana assets are all executed from a centralized control room on our onshore gas processing unit, where operators have visibility of the CCTV system, platform control system and safety system,” DeNovo said. “These systems are all functioning as per design and communications have enabled continuous 24/7 monitoring and visibility of NUI operations.”

Iguana Field

Iguana was first discovered in 1982, but remained undeveloped for over 34 years until DeNovo took over as operator in 2016. Iguana was the first stranded gas field to be developed by DeNovo, which is currently Trinidad’s fifth largest gas producer. 

DeNovo’s fast-track development of Iguana was executed in less than three years and was the first offshore development completed utilizing a local jackup rig, the Well Services Rig 110.

The Sea Swift Platform is used to support three production wells from the field. The platform also includes the installation and operation of a 45 km offshore and onshore 14-inch pipeline that runs to Pt. Lisas where the gas is processed and conditioned, and condensates removed.

The Sea Swift is the first such platform to be installed in the region. It uses a low-maintenance, thermo-electric generator power generation technology using produced gas, and was designed with up to 30% less steel than off-the-shelf jacketed options, and incurred lower manufacturing and shipping emissions.

Hart Energy August 2022 - DeNovo Boasts Tech Advantage to Monetize Stranded Gas in Trinidad - Iguana platform rendering
Iguana was first discovered in 1982, but remained undeveloped for over 34 years until DeNovo took over as operator in 2016. Pictured is the Sea Swift Platform used to support three production wells from the field. (Source: DeNovo Energy Ltd.)

Zandolie Field

Zandolie, initially discovered in 1962, is DeNovo’s second field development in Block 1(a). Zandolie is a single-well conductor-supported platform and its development builds off the existing Iguana infrastructure, which allowed for a more compact topside structure that is lighter and more efficient, according to DeNovo.

The platform for Zandolie is the first design of its kind in Trinidad. It is powered 100% by renewable energy, drawing on an abundance of wind and solar sources.
Additionally, the platform was fully fabricated in Trinidad, “reducing its carbon footprint and maximizing local talent and resources,” DeNovo said. Zandolie has also been designed to prevent methane slip during the shipping of gas during the extraction process and its transport to the onshore gas processing facility in Pt. Lisas.

Oil Plus, a provider of oilfield solutions, is developing a comprehensive maintenance management strategy and program to support ongoing safe operations on Zandolie utilizing its computerized asset integrity management aid, AIM+. The goal is to identify and consolidate data elements to ensure better cost-effective decisions during the entire life cycle of the facility.

“Effective condition monitoring is crucial to ensure production continues at the desired rate, whilst minimizing the risk of downtime and costly repairs,” Oil Plus maintenance engineering team leader Mike Noble told Hart Energy.

Asset integrity management “applies to the entirety of an asset’s operation, from its design phase to its decommissioning and replacement. Design, operational, and technical integrity must all be managed effectively to control costs,” Oil Plus said.

Epic collapse

Trinidad’s gas production has experienced an epic collapse over the last decade. Production reached 2.55 Bcf/d in May, according to the most recent bulletin posted by the country’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries. But production is far from the peak of 4.52 Bcf/d seen in February 2010.

An unattractive fiscal regime is partly the blame for the declines as gas producers in the country from BP Plc to Woodside Energy and Shell Plc, among others, struggle to boost reserves and production to offset natural declines.

The shortage of gas has led to closures of gas-dependent plants across the small twin-island country with the LNG, methanol and ammonia sectors bearing the brunt of the impacts. Higher prices for commodity exports this year, however, have been a blessing for Trinidad’s gas-based industries, especially the LNG sector, which accounted for 47% of gas utilizations in May, followed by methanol (20%) and ammonia (17%).