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Energy Conference 2019 - Claire Fitzpatrick

Release date:
4 February 2019
Claire Fitzpatrick

Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference

Sponsor’s remarks 

• Dr. The Honourable, Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

• Senator the Hon. Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries

• Other distinguished members of government and members of the diplomatic corps

• Fellow members of the Energy Chamber

• Industry partners

• Members of the media


Good morning. Thank you for the kind welcome. It’s my pleasure to be here, and to be addressing this conference for the first time. It’s been an interesting and enjoyable start and I look forward to continuing to build my knowledge of the industry here as well as playing an active role in shaping its future. 

The theme of this year’s conference “Technology: Transforming the Industry” is perfectly timed.  The forces shaping the energy industry at a macro level are well understood by this room; 

• a growing global population with an increasing demand for energy to provide heat, light and mobility; 

• evolving policies on climate change; and 

• society’s growing preference for cleaner energy.  In BP we refer to this as the ‘Dual Challenge’ – that is – the world needs more energy but energy that is kinder to our planet.

At the same time, the industry here in Trinidad and Tobago has a dual challenge of its own. Our shallow water resource basins are maturing and require investment - to optimize production and - to maintain safe and efficient operations from aging infrastructure. Additionally, recent exploration over both our shallow and deepwater acreage is providing encouraging results, but any new field developments that may come from this will need to be capital efficient to ensure they are economic and competitive. 

These challenges at both global and regional level make a clear case for technology to be deployed at scale, and at pace, to move our industry forward.

At BPTT we are already working diligently to be at the front of the technological changes required  -  and while the change is unnerving at times, it is also really exciting. As we have deployed new technologies across our operations, we are seeing possibilities everywhere including pioneering new technologies for the BP group right here … in the land of oil and music. 

Today I’ll speak about technology transforming three elements. 

• transforming safety - helping the industry protect - people, the environment and investments. 

• transforming performance - enabling the industry to discover and recover more resources, and improve delivery

• And - transforming the workforce and the competitiveness of our industry - the mindset that could prepare the people of Trinidad and Tobago for the energy industry of tomorrow.  


Over the last nine months I have visited our operating sites and met with staff and contractors alike. These visits reinforced that people remain our greatest assets and our first priority must be to keep them safe. 

We are evolving the way we think about safety and integrity management.  We are deepening our understanding of how our people interact - with one another, equipment and processes. By focusing on how people interact with their work environment, we are better able to understand why things have gone wrong and look to prevent those things from happening again.

So where does technology fit? In BPTT we seek to keep people out of harms way. The more we limit exposure to hazardous conditions the more we reduce safety risk. Technology allows us to do that in new ways.
Through our Return-To-Scene or R2S programme, we can now perform virtual inspections on our unmanned offshore facilities, reducing the number of visits required and reduce aviation risk. This is just one example of technology “keeping people out of harms way.” Technology is a central part of our risk management to ensure our people make it home safely to their families every day.


Technological innovation is transforming our operational performance  - and harnessing the power of data is key.  For example, we are deploying new digital systems that enhance production from our base fields through better optimization of pressures across our infrastructure. Keeping our producing fields performing stronger, longer - enables us to maintain our production profiles to meet our contractual commitments. 

We are also deploying new drilling technologies when bringing on new wells that allow us to monitor our drilling performance real-time – resulting in faster, more precise execution of our work and ultimately more gas.
Discovering more is key to extending the life of the industry here - and without technologies like advanced seismic imaging we would not have been able to target a series of exploration prospects, which started with the Savannah and Macadamia discoveries in 2017 and will continue with Ginger and others. The Angelin development, is progressing well with first gas expected this quarter, also made possible by new seismic technology. 

Apart from discovering more we need to recover more from our existing resources - and find more ways to make smaller pools economic. As part of enabling the development of smaller pools, we’re embarking on the next generation of NUI’s or normally unmanned installations. This new platform concept will combine technology, improved processes and new ways of partnering with the supply chain to change the way we deliver projects – and it will be pioneered right here in Trinidad. When compared to a more traditional development, the minimal NUI design will be smaller, simpler and greener as we focus our efforts on increased reliability, reducing both safety risk and our carbon footprint. 


However, a key ingredient in achieving all of this is people. People are the connective tissue between 

• technological advances transforming the industry

• and the application to our safety systems and operations. We will always need people but its undeniable their jobs will be different.

BP has depended on the expertise of T&T’s people for 50 years and I can hardly think of a BP location across the world where you won’t find a T&T national at work. We have had many successes across our business of the great talent developed here.

And the future will be no different.  But those successes will depend on us investing in the workforce, of today and tomorrow, supporting them to have the skillsets they’ll need. But the onus is not on industry alone. Workers will also need to proactively seek opportunities to improve and develop new skillsets, so they can evolve alongside the industry. Across our upstream business we are adopting a range of new digital tools and training our people to apply them. We are adopting more agile ways of working to help cross functional teams collaborate better and make decisions faster. 



In 2018, BPTT laid out a 10-year plan for 9 projects and investments required to maintain our production capacity for another decade. But think of what could be possible - for BPTT and for other Upstream operators – could we do more? 

• Faster development? 

• Build projects in Trinidad? 

• Develop stranded resources?  My bet is yes - if 

• we leverage technology, 

• work together  - and 

• have the right investment climate to enable it 

Not just the right fiscal and commercial arrangements but 

• efficient regulatory processes, 

• a more supportive and productive labour environment and 

• a supply chain that’s keeping pace with change. 
In 2018, 

• We sanctioned an innovative gas and LNG project - in partnership with the Governments of Mauritania and Senegal and alongside other energy companies. 

• We formed a solar joint venture with an Egyptian utilities company offering a competitively priced alternative to established energy options in the country.  

These required both technology and a different mindset – one that’s based on trust, partnership and greater collaboration. If we can do these projects in west Africa and Egypt, why can’t it be done here?

This new approach to collaboration should not just be between business and government, but between energy companies and suppliers. We need to work together, challenge the status quo, bring new competitive solutions to the table. Across BP, we are successfully partnering with our suppliers to solve problems because we recognize the answers cannot be found in just one sector or indeed one industry, and that we go further when we go together. 


A great example of this is our newly sanctioned Cassia Compression project. We worked together with our turbine supplier Baker Hughes G.E and explored a new model, where rather than own or lease, operate and maintain the turbines on the facility we will only pay for the hours the turbines are in operation. Although this has not been implemented on this scale before in BP, both companies understood the mutual benefits. Reaching an agreement like this could not have been done without trust and transparency. 


Such collaborative efforts will change the traditional ways we do business, so we can continue to deliver the country’s energy needs while also helping T&T do its part in reducing carbon emissions. 

BP - along with the other operators in this room - are developing technological solutions, investing to improve energy efficiency, venturing into renewable sources of energy and new business models to meet the dual challenge. Trinidad is well poised to leverage the expertise and the connections that already exist in the upstream, here in T&T, to help transform the industry and deliver its own carbon and climate goals. 



In conclusion, bold transformations are happening across our industry, and quickly. Technology is changing our approach to 

• safety and human performance, 

• operations and efficiencies, 

• workforce development and how we collaborate to enhance competitiveness. 

BPTT is proud of the relationships we’ve built so far, and I am excited for more  - innovation -  collaboration -  development - success – and a future of possibilities for our industry and country. 

Thank you.