By Business Desk, www.guardian.co.tt
After two lean discovery years, T&T's largest foreign exchange earner, bpTT, is on the brink of announcing a major gas and oil find off Trinidad's south-east coast.
The company's official position is that it is continuing to drill the exploration well, called Chachalaca, and that the testing of the resulting information will not be completed until the end of the year.
However, a source close to the company's Queen's Park West head office said on Thursday that "bpTT has been celebrating for the past ten days."
The source said bpTT was following all of the protocols involved in announcing a large discovery, including informing the Ministry of Energy.
In response to a query from the Guardian last night, bpTT officials said in a statement, "BP Trinidad and Tobago can confirm we are drilling an exploration well Chachalaca 1, located approximately 50 miles off the south-east coast of Trinidad.
"It is bpTT's first exploration well in 18 months.
"We are nearing completion of drilling, and we are not yet in a position to comment on the outcome of the well.
"Chachalaca is being drilled with the first fully-automated cyber rig in Trinidad, Global Santa Fe's Constellation 1."
The news from bpTT will be well received by the Ministry of Energy, which is coming to terms with the disappointment after the downgrading of BHP Billiton's Angostura field.
Angostura would be at the "lower end of the range" of the previous estimates of 90-300 billion barrels of condensate, according to BHP officials.
For the first few years, the Angostura is likely to produce around 60,000 barrels per day of oil, well short of the 100,000 barrels per day it was originally touted to produce.
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