Ramnarine: What Happens Between Now and Manatee First Gas? 

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By Kevin Ramnarine

THE announcement by Shell of their Final Investment Decision (FID) for Manatee is welcome news for our beleaguered T&T energy sector.

It is also welcome news for the Mayaro/ Guayaguayare community which has suffered from a pellucid decline in recent years on account of a marked decline in upstream activity off the east coast. Shell has stated that Manatee will achieve “first gas” in 2027.


Interestingly, it did not say when in 2027. If we were to assume “first gas” for Manatee happens in Q3 2027, it means this supply is three years from now and it could be more if there is schedule slippage. The question is what happens to the supply of natural gas in 2024 to 2027?

Forecasts indicate that T&T’s natural gas production levels could dip as low as 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2027.


For 2024, (thus far) production levels are struggling at around 2.5 bcfd. Manatee’s production (at its peak) will only get the national production levels back to where it was in 2022.

It is for this reason that Shell appropriately described Manatee as “backfill” for the LNG facility.  For these reasons it can be surmised that Manatee, while important, will not precipitate an economic boom and must not therefore reduce the thrust towards economic transformation. 

Kevin Ramnarine is a former minister of energy

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