The information was revealed by Energy and Energy Industries Minister, Nicole Olivierre, at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Energy Conference which was held at the Hyatt Regency on Monday.
Norwegian company Det Norse Veritas (DNV) performed a comprehensive audit of all the assets in the local energy companies, including bpTT, Repsol, BG, Atlantic, Petrotrin and other major companies.
The Energy Minister gave the results of the study: "What is particularly troubling is that of the six Government State-owned entities that were involved in this audit, all but one of them fell below the mid range of 2 for both the equipment audit and the systems audit. An overall conclusion from the study indicated that a significant portion of the oil and gas infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago is approaching or exceeding the original design life."
Minister Olivierre gave some of the details of how the $15.6 million audit was conducted.
"DNV employed a rating scale from 0-4, upon which each company was ranked. A score of zero meant that the activity or practice is ad hoc or absent with little awareness of the expectation for asset integrity management. A mid-score of 2 meant that a documented procedure was in place for asset integrity management and a score of 4 indicated best practice."
The Minister also spoke of BHP Billiton's first local deep-water well.
"Le Clerc was spudded on May 21st. From what I understand, the drilling programme is progressing quite well. They have crossed 12,000 feet and are currently just about five days ahead of schedule. The well would be drilled to a TD 20,120 feet in 5,925 feet of water."
The Energy Minister said she is optimistic about the resurgence of the local hydrocarbon industry despite the current low price of oil and natural gas.