Production has started at a major gas project owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc offshore Trinidad and Tobago, which the Anglo-Dutch company said July 22 marks a significant milestone in the delivery of gas both domestically and internationally through its Atlantic LNG facility.

“Today’s announcement strengthens the resilience and competitiveness of Shell’s position in Trinidad and Tobago,” commented Maarten Wetselaar, director of integrated gas, renewable and energy solutions at Shell, in a company release. “This is a key growth opportunity that supports our long-term strategy in the country as well as our global LNG growth ambitions.”

First gas on Block 5C, known as Project Barracuda, was reached by a subsidiary of Shell on July 18, the release said. The company had announced final investment decision for the project in January 2020 and began drilling in May 2020.

Barracuda, located in the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA)—one of the most prolific gas-producing areas in Trinidad and Tobago, is a backfill project with approximately 25,000 boe/d of sustained near-term gas production with peak production expected to be about 40,000 boe/d. It is also Shell’s first greenfield project in the country and one of its largest in Trinidad and Tobago since its BG Group acquisition closed in 2016.

“We are immensely proud of our people and the remarkable work it took to achieve this milestone, particularly given that drilling began in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Eugene Okpere, Shell’s senior vice president and country chair, in the release. “Our execution strategy had to be completely overhauled to deliver our business plan, all while working remotely. It required tremendous resilience, adaptability and commitment.”

The Barracuda project comprises two subsea wells, one in the Endeavour Field and the other in the Bounty Field. Both are 100% Shell-owned and tied back to Shell’s Dolphin platform.

According to Shell, these are two of the deepest development wells in Trinidad and Tobago. Endeavour was drilled to a depth of 20,000 ft (6,096 m) while Bounty was drilled to a depth of 16,000 ft (4,877 m).

Shell said it now looks forward to the delivery of the four-well development project in Block 22 and NCMA 4, known as the Colibri project. First gas from Colibri, a joint venture with Heritage Petroleum Co. Ltd., is expected in 2022.

It is part of its development strategy, Shell said in the release, to find ways to access the significant volumes that exist in the ECMA in Trinidad and Tobago  and to bring them online in support of its Atlantic LNG facility.

Shell is a major shareholder in Atlantic LNG, which was built in 1995 and today is the sixth largest LNG exporter in the world. The company’s equity in the Atlantic plant ranges from 46% to 57.5% in each of the four trains at the facility.