Our main focus is the onshore exploration and production of Barbados’ hydrocarbon resources. The company continues to explore and review new geophysical concepts with the hope of finding some exploration technique which would assist in unraveling the complex geology and thereby provide more successful drilling locations. EM technology and down-hole seismic acquisition are some of the new concepts being considered for the Woodbourne Field.
BNOCL has employed various drilling concepts over time to determine what is best suited for exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves. Most of the wells are vertical however in recent times more directional wells have been completed while 5 horizontal wells have been drilled to target specific horizons. The company owns a Cabot 750 drilling rig.
Woodbourne is our main area of operation. Wells are typically 6000 feet deep with roil reservoir sands occurring between 2000 and 6000 feet. To date over 200 wells have been drilled in the Woodbourne Development area.
Typically most wells have sufficient reservoir pressure to flow to the surface when initially completed but once the reservoir pressure declines a beam pumping unit is utilised to continue production. The pumping unit is powered by an engine, which in most cases is fueled by natural gas produced from the well. In other cases, the prime mover is an electrical motor.
To bring the oil to the surface a slender pump is installed in the well. The fluid reaching the surface in most cases is not pure oil, but a mixture of oil, water and gas, which is sent to a treatment plant known as the ‘heater-treater’ to separate the gas and water from the crude oil. The gas is first separated from the mixture leaving a water/oil combination. This combination is then heated with a demulsifier to speed up the separation of the water from the mixture and leaves what is referred to as the treated crude oil.
This oil is then stored in storage tanks until it is piped to the Barbados National Oil Terminal Limited. From there it is shipped to Trinidad where it is refined at the Petrotrin Refinery. The equivalent quantity of fuel oil is brought back to Barbados, where it is utilised by the Barbados Light & Power for the generation of electricity. Currently, oil production is approximately 820 barrels of oil per day. BNTCL also purchases from Petrotrin gasoline, diesel and kerosene as required by the country.
The natural gas that is collected at the Heater Treaters is sent via pipelines to the ‘Gas Plant’ located at Woodbourne. BNOCL produces approximately 2,000 MCF/day (million cubic feet per day) of gas. Some of this produced gas is used at Woodbourne for Field and Plant operations; however, the majority of natural gas is compressed and sold to the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC). NPC through its pipeline distribution network then sells this gas to its 13,500 + customers, where it is used for domestic and commercial purposes.