Trinidad - Exploration / Appraisal / Development / Production

In mid-2011 Range acquired a 100% interest in three production licences in producing onshore oilfields in Trinidad and a local fully operational drilling company which has six drilling rigs plus further completion / workover rigs and operational personnel.

The three production licenses include:

- Morne Diablo
- South Quarry
- Beach Marcelle

Morne Diablo

The Morne Diablo onshore license comprises 9,300 acres along the south coast of. The License is subject to a farm-in agreement with Petrotrin which extends for three - 5 year periods and is under a royalty / tax fiscal regime.

Historically the Morne Diablo license had produced 7.7MM bbls of oil between 1936 - 1996, with an additional 2.8MM bbls of oil having been produced from 1996 to present.

There are multi-productive horizons underlying Morne Diablo (refer to diagram above) with the majority of current production coming from the Lower Forest and Upper Cruse horizons. The current program is targeting all horizons, including a number of wells to be drilled to the semi-exploratory Lower Curse and exploratory Herrera horizon.

There are currently +300 wells on the license of which 142 are currently producing with 23 of new development wells having been added since acquisition mid 2011.
The license has full 3D seismic coverage which was shot in 1999. To date, development and production has only occurred on circa less than 10% of the license area with the majority of the license area having the potential for further development of up to 140 wells over the next 4 years.

Within the Morne Diablo license is the shallow pilot water flood program over 8 acres (refer to photo below), which has produced an incremental 35,000 bbls since its inception in December 2009 from a depth of circa 150-300 ft in the shallow forest formation. It is the intention of commencing the expansion of this 8 acre pilot program up to a total of 80 acres with the commencement of injection early 2013 subject to approvals, targeting a production rate of up to 700 bopd estimated capex of circa $2.5m.

Morne Diablo Pilot Waterflood


Rig 8

South Quarry

The South Quarry onshore license comprises 3,700 acres along the south coast of Trinidad, immediately west of the license Morne Diablo. The License is subject to a farm-in agreement with Petrotrin which extends for three - 5 year periods and is under a royalty / tax fiscal regime.

Historically the South Quarry license had produced 1.1 MM bbls of oil between 1977 - 1996, with an additional 1.0 MM bbls of oil having been produced from 1996 to present.

Like Morne Diablo, South Quarry is underlined by numerous productive horizons (refer to diagram above) with the majority of current production coming from the Middle Cruse equivalent “Quarry 19 Sands” horizons. There are also numerous oil seeps present on the license in areas that have not experienced any significant appraisal work and it is the intention to move one of the shallower rigs from the Morne Diablo program across to South Quarry early in 2013 to commence appraisal of some of the oil seeps along with the development of an inventory of up to 20 wells.

The current program is targeting all horizons, including a number of wells to be drilled to the semi-exploratory Lower Cruse and exploratory Herrera horizon.

There are currently 80 wells on the license of which 13 are currently producing and like Morne Diablo, the license has full 3D seismic coverage.

Oil Seeps South Quarry Storage Tanks

Beach Marcelle

The Beach Marcelle onshore license comprises 3,500 acres near the south / east coastal corner of Trinidad. The License is subject to an Incremental Production Sharing Contract with Petrotrin which extends for ten year periods and is under a royalty / tax fiscal regime.

Historically the Beach Marcelle field had produced 30 MM bbls of oil, with first production occurring in 1902 and in the 1960's Texaco successfully carried out water floor enhanced recovery on the field. The Company acquired the larger license area in 2010 with the view to utilise its experience with waterflood EOR from the shallow Morne Diablo program and transfer this experience to the Beach Marcelle license. There are four of six individual fault blocks that the waterflood program will target with an aim to achieve average production in the range of 1-1.5mm bbls per annum following initial production. Development is expected to commence early 2013 following the receipt of approvals with first production between 18-24 months following the commencement of development.

In addition to the waterflood EOR work, a technical study of the license was completed in early 2012 identifying 50+ infill well locations along with the potential deepening of 6 old well bores to test for primary by-passed reserves (4,500ft TD).

There are currently 236+ wells on the license of which 13 are currently producing.

Old Well Beach Storage Tanks


Category Oil (MMbbis)
Oct '12
Proved (P1) 17.5
Probable (P2) 2.7
Possible (P3) 5.0
Total 25.2
Prospective Resource  
Low 8.1
Best 40.5
High 81.0

Drilling and Technical Operations

The Company has 250+ employees in Trinidad with 125+ having been added by Range since acquisition in 2011 and is operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and opened a technical and administration office in San Fernando in mid-2012. The current staffing levels can support the projected activity on the Company's licenses for the next couple of years, with only additional drilling staff to be hired upon commissioning of the last 2 of the Company's drilling rigs plus some further technical support personnel.

The Company also owns a fleet of six drilling rigs, three production rigs and three swap rigs with the drilling rigs having the following depth capacities:

- 3 shallow capability < 3,500 ft
- 2 medium capability < 6,500 ft
- 1 medium/deep capability < 11,000 ft

The Company is currently undertaking the Safe to Work (“STOW”) certification.

The Company is a leader amongst its peers with respect to its in-house technical capabilities, with the current primary technical capabilities including:

  1. Full work station capability
  2. Seismic interpretation software
  3. Reservoir simulation and modelling
  4. 3-D visualization room
  5. Geologic mapping and interpretation software

Geological Background

Trinidad and Eastern Venezuela share the same petroleum province with one of the richest source rocks in the world

Geologically, Trinidad lies on the South American tectonic plate and falls within the Orinoco Fold Belt which is a prolific oil producer in adjacent Venezuela some 14km to the southwest. The area is recognised as a world class petroleum province with over 3 billion barrels of oil produced to date and current production in the order of 100,000 bopd.

The Morne Diablo, South Quarry and Beach Marcelle licences are all within a complex thrust belt, with surface expression known as the Southern Range. The Southern Range, which contains numerous oil seeps, stretches from west to east forming the south coast of the island. Fluvial deltaic sediments, ranging to tidal and wave dominated, characterize the shallower producing zones in the Morne Diablo and South Quarry fields.

Due to growth faulting in the Beach Marcelle area, these sands are thicker and better developed there. The Pliocene aged Cruse sands (orange layers) are segmented into 3 different members. The Lower Cruse is productive in the area, but largely unexplored. Just above the Lower Cruse, the Middle Cruse is widespread, and is the main producer in this area. The Upper Cruse consists of nicely developed sands that offer the possibility of more localized production.

The Plioceneaged Forest sands (pink layers) represent the shallowest targets. Forest sands are comprised of two main oil producing members. The Lower Forest ranges from 250 to 300 meters deep, and the Shallow Forest ranges from 100 to 150 meters deep. These sands are ubiquitous, and are the shallowest most accessible targets. In the Beach Marcelle area, the Forest equivalent is called the Gros Morne formation, where the company is considering reactivation and expansion of a waterflood to increase production. The deepwater turbidite Herrera Formation (green layers) is a prolific producer to the north, and is the target of future exploration drilling on the existing licenses.

Most of the fields are simple four way dip structural rollover anticlines with significant closure to create multiple oil entrapment horizons. In some areas these anticlines show overturned reservoirs, thereby creating repeated reservoir intervals capable of trapping oil as shown below.

The deepwater Miocene aged turbidite Herrera Formation (green layers in picture above) is a prolific producer in Trinidad and represents significant prospective resource upside to Monitor. Production in this formation is usually found in the northeast to southwest thrusted structure to the east and north of Monitor's prospective acreage. The comparatively large Penal field in the Herrera Formation has produced more than 60mmboe to date from depths of up to 9,000ft.

Producing fields in the Herrera formations in Trinidad produce at rates of 500 - 2,000bopd on blocks adjacent to Range's acreage positions.

The Upper Cretaceous formations is believed to be the main source rock with several studies showed them to be excellent quality oil-prone source rocks from deep water marine shales or marine mixed with terrigenous material.

For further technical information on Trinidad refer:http://www.energy.gov.tt/content/Centenery_Pub_Krishna_Persad.pdf

Trinidad and Tobago Energy Map:


Trinidad - Waterflood Program

What is waterflooding?

Water flooding is a method of secondary recovery in which water is injected into the reservoir formation to displace residual oil. The water from injection wells physically sweeps the displaced oil to adjacent production wells.

To understand the dynamics of water flooding it is important to understand the basic dynamics of an Oil reservoir. Oil reservoirs are generally “Gas Driven”; as a reservoir starts producing, the pressure is reduced, allowing gas in the reservoir to expand which further drives the flow. Imagine a bottle of fizzy water, when the lid is opened, the pressure is reduced, and you can see the trapped gas expanding as bubbles, if the pressure is great enough the water will flow from the bottle along with some of the gas/fiz.

Like the bottle of fizzy water, the expanding gas in an oil reservoir is free to flow out of the well, reducing the pressure (and flow) until equilibrium is met. Due to the declining pressure the drive experienced from the gas is usually only enough to recover up to a 5th of the total oil in place. If it was possible to maintain the pressure it would be possible to flow more oil from the reservoir.

Injecting water to maintain pressure works for a number of reasons. Firstly, water and oil do not mix which means that injected water will displace the oil present. Secondly and as evident from our discussion, adding water will maintain the pressure which will maintain the flow.

Illustration of a Typical Water Flood
Source: adamrlee.org