Trinidad’s Atlantic Resumes LNG Production

(Argus, 21.Jun.2019) — Trinidad and Tobago’s LNG producer Atlantic resumed operations today at its four-train 14.8mn t/yr liquefaction facility after a five-day shutdown caused by a power cut.

The trains are being re-fired “progressively” and will eventually be brought up to full capacity, Atlantic told Argus, without indicating when optimum output will be achieved.

Atlantic said it is discussing with its customers changes to its shipping schedules because of the interruption.

BP and Shell are the leading shareholders in the Caribbean state’s liquefaction complex located at Point Fortin in southwestern Trinidad. China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC unit Summer Soca and Trinidad’s state-owned gas company NGC are minority partners in the facility.

“We are relieved that the production and export of LNG has been restarted,” Trinidad’s energy ministry told Argus today.

“We are confident the company can recover from the shutdown so production targets and shipping schedules will not be adversely affected.”

The interruption that started on 16 June came two months after the consortium forecast continued improvement in output on the back of increased availability of natural gas.

“For 2019, Atlantic will remain focused on ensuring high levels of plant reliability and process safety,” the company told Argus in April.

The consortium had been recovering from a three-year decline in production caused by a gas shortage.

LNG production in January-February 2019 reached 4.96mn m³, up 2pc on a year earlier, according to data from the energy ministry. Atlantic’s output in 2018 reached 28.4mn m³, the highest since 2015.

This week’s shutdown of the liquefaction complex happened soon after BP revealed a tentative plan to close 20pc of Atlantic´s capacity.

BP’s infill drilling projects have failed to deliver at forecast levels to supply Train 1 of the facility after 2019, the company said in May.

Trinidad has agreed with BP and Shell to discuss restructuring Atlantic in an effort to forestall the shutdown of the train.

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