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(868) 658-4200/10/20/30
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Petroleum Company of
Trinidad and Tobago
Limited (Petrotrin)
Trinidad W.I.
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Our History

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin) was incorporated in 1993 to consolidate the interests of the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company (Trintoc) and the Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company (Trintopec).

The Petrotrin Vesting Act came into effect on October 1 of that year.

The companyís roots can however be traced to the beginning of commercial oil production in Trinidad and Tobago through its predecessors who were listed among the nationís earliest prospectors in oil and gas.


Birth of No 8 CDU

Birth of No 8 CDU

The following are some major milestones in the Trinidad and Tobago energy sector that contributed to Petrotrinís development.
In December 1907, Well No. 3 at Guapo (Pt Fortin) was completed by the Trinidad Petroleum Company (TPC). This well is considered the first commercial oil discovery in Trinidad and Tobago, though the company did not do anything about actually starting commercial production until 1910. This Guapo discovery was later to develop into the Point Fortin field. (Higgins, 1996)
The Trinidad Petroleum Company was later named Trinidad Oilfields Ltd.
In 1912, United British West Indies Petroleum Syndicate (UBWIPS) was registered.
In 1913, United British Oilfields of Trinidad (UBOT), was formed to take over Trinidad oilfields producing assets at Point Fortin in partnership with UBWIPS. UBWIPS subsidiary companies were later merged into UBOT, which became the main arm of Shell in Trinidad.
In 1913, various exploration and production interests in Trinidad were merged into Trinidad Leaseholds Limited (TLL).
In 1912, permission was obtained to expand the Point Fortin refinery to refine and market the production of UBOT. The refinery was registered in May 1915.  When the TOL assets were acquired in 1913, they included a refinery unit, a simple topping plant set up by TOL, and this would have been the first refinery built in Trinidad to refine oil.
Workmen's Transport to and from Refinery

Workmen's Transport to and from refinery
Forest Reserve Field Office

Forest R
eserve Field Office

In 1914, TLLís first well, Forest Reserve No. 1, named Helena was spudded and completed at a depth of 150 ft when oil flowed into the well. This led to the discovery of the Forest Reserve oilfield.
In 1917, TLL brought No. 1 Crude Oil Distillation into use at Pointe-a-Pierre, leading to the development of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
The Trinidad Petroleum Development Company Ltd (TPD) was formed in 1918.
In 1919, Apex (Trinidad) Oilfields Limited was registered as a producer at Fyzabad. The oil was sold to TLL, who controlled the adjacent Forest Reserve field and fed into the pipeline from Forest Reserve to Pointe-a-Pierre.
In 1920, TLLís hospital was built at Fyzabad. The hospital was later moved to Pointe-a-Pierre in 1920. This is the Augustus Long Hospital at Pointe-a-Pierre today.
In 1920, Kern Trinidad Oilfields Limited (KTO) was incorporated in London and registered in Trinidad to explore for oil at the Perseverance Estate where oil had been discovered in 1912.
In 1924, TPDís interests were sold to British Controlled Oilfields Limited.
In 1926, the Palo Seco discovery was spudded. The Palo Seco field became a major asset to TPD.
In 1929, the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company (Shell) took over the management of UBOT.
In 1930, Trinidad and Tobago entered the marketing field when a joint operation was set up between UBOT and Trinidad Leaseholds Limited (TLL). This arrangement lasted until 1960, by which time TLL had been acquired by Texaco.
Dubbs Cracking Plant - Pointe-a-Pierre
Dubbs Cracking Plant - Pointe-a-Pierre

St. Peter's School - Pointe-a-Pierre
In 1930, TPD built a small refinery at Palo Seco. This was later moved to Santa Flora. TPDís refining capacity was further expanded in 1941 when it took over Essoís refinery and jetty at la Brea.
In 1936, Shell and TLL set up a joint company, Trinidad Northern Areas Limited (TNA) to explore for oil in the Northern Basin, away from the main oil-producing areas. The onshore exploration was unsuccessful, but in 1955 their first offshore well in Trinidad waters was a discovery that led to the giant Soldado field.
In 1936, Shell made an important discovery at Penal when Penal No. 1 encountered shallow oil sands equivalent to those that were producing oil in the old TLL Barrackpore Field, originally discovered in 1911. Penal No. 1 was approximately 3 miles west- southwest of the Barrackpore wells.
By 1938, the UBOT Point Fortin refinery was producing at a capacity of 35,000 bpd.
In 1938, the Penal field was linked to Point Fortin by pipeline and development began in earnest.
In 1941, Penal No. 64 was drilled and discovered older and deeper sands, at nearly 5000 ft sub-sea. This led to a successful search for the sands in the declining TLL Barrackpore field and a revival of operations there.
In 1946, UBOT drilled Penal No. 92 but found the shallow Herrera sands absent and the well was accordingly deepened to discover a second Herrera sand zone several thousand feet below. Subsequently a third and deeper productive zone was found at around 10,000 ft- this deeper level was to prove a complex oil and gas-condensate reservoirs and a market for gas became urgently needed. The Electrical Authority, predecessor to the Trinidad & Tobago Electrical Commission, was a first user of the gas.
From 1946, the TLL Pointe-a-Pierre refinery processed part of the Texaco Companyís Venezuelan and later Colombian crude. This arrangement proved to be a very valuable asset to the refineryís economic well being.
At the end of the War II UBOT was producing just over 5 million barrels per year.
In 1956, UBOT changed its name to Shell Trinidad Limited.
In 1956, TLL sold the company to the Texaco Company. At the time of the takeover, the refinery was processing about 80,000 bpd and annual TLL production was just over 8 million barrels.
In 1956, BP took over control of TPD.
In 1957, BP set up a Trinidad subsidiary, BP (Trinidad) Limited. Following BPís 100 percent acquisition of APEX, Kern Trinidad Oilfields acquired in 1960 and 1961 respectively, the companies were merged with TPD under one banner- BP (Trinidad).
In 1960, the completion of further expansion at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, known as Project 1236, brought the total refinery capacity to 350,000 bpd making the refinery the largest at the time, in terms of throughout, in the British Commonwealth, and the second largest in Texaco. During the Textrin (Texaco Trinidad) regime, the petrochemicals slate was widened considerably.
In 1962, a new company, Trinmar Limited, incorporated in Trinidad and with registered offices at Guapo, was formed to operate the offshore TNA leases. Trinmar was expected to operate independently and without domination by any one company of the participants (Textrin, BP and Shell).
During the 1960s, TLL established a new tank farm was established at Pointe-a-Pierre, building on 17 acres of land reclaimed from the sea south of Simpsonís Point (the promontory of Pointe-a-Pierre). Much of the promontory was removed in the process. New shipping offices were built on the land together with other new buildings housing the Oil Stocks Department.
In 1969, BP withdrew from Trinidad and their interests were acquired by Trinidad Tesoro, in which the Government had a 50.1% stake.
In 1973, the Government opened negotiations for the purchase of all Shell Trinidadís assets.
In 1974, the Government purchased the entire Shell interests, including the Point Fortin refinery and set up the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company (Trintoc) to take over the Shell operations. Until that time, Shellís share of the TNA production was one third.
In 1985, Textrin and the Government reached a final agreement for the acquisition of the refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre and other assets, with the exception of its one third interest in Trinmar and in the offshore East Coast production sharing contract. Trintoc took over Texacoís operations and operated both the Point Fortin and Pointe-a-Pierre refineries until the advent of Petrotrin in 1993.
Following the formation of Petrotrin in 1993, the Point Fortin refinery was closed down. The refinery occupied much of the land on which the four trains of the Atlantic LNG Company sit today.
During the period 1993 to 1997, Petrotrin undertook and successfully completed its first refinery upgrade at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. At the time, the nine unit upgrade to improve environmental compliance and refinery economics was considered one of the most technically complex engineering projects ever undertaken in Trinidad and Tobago. This extensive upgrade helped to improve the refineryís capacity to convert oil into higher-value refined products and full refining capacity increased from 90,000 bpd to 160,000 bpd.
In 2004, Petrotrin embarked on the second refinery upgrade dubbed the 'Clean Fuels Program'. The Clean Fuels Program, which included two major projects- the Gasoline Optimization Program and the construction of the Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel Plant- is designed to improve the quality of refined products to meet international specifications.


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