In 1957 The American Merrimac Oil Company drilled an early oil well at La Brea. Oil was struck at 280 feet (85 m).
In 1865 and 1866 the American civil engineer, Walter Darwent, discovered and produced oil at Aripero.
In 1901 Mr Randolph Rust, along with his neighbour, Mr Lee Lum, drilled a successful well near Darwent's original one which produced 455 liters of oil in 2 hours. By early 1907 major drilling operations began, roads and other infrastructure were built. Annual production of oil in Trinidad and Tobago reached 47,000 barrels (7,500 m3) by 1910 and kept rapidly increasing year by year.
1903 Guyaguayare No. 3…first well to be drilled with rotary equipment.
1904 A Mines Department instituted as a branch of the
Public Works with the production of manjak.
1908 Commercial oil production begins in Trinidad near the
Pitch Lake, La Brea
1910 First export cargo of crude oil was shipped by tanker at
Brighton, La Brea
1911 Discovery of Tabaquite field most northerly oilfield found on land,
1912 Small refinery built at Point Fortin
1914 Production reached 1 MMB/year and the oil industry employed 1,200.
1919 Refinery capacity increased to 9,000 barrels of oil per day. Sixty-six percent of crude oil produced was refined locally.
1921 Production began from Trinidad Leaseholds Ltd.’s Cat Cracker Unit at Pointe-a-Pierre.
1930 Crude oil production increased to 10 million barrels per year.
1930 First importation of oil from Venezuela for refining locally.
1930 First geophysical surveys made in the Brighton area.
1932 Electrical well logging introduced in Trinidad.
1933 Trinidad Oilfields Ltd. introduces gas injection in the Forest Reserve Upper Cruse sand.
1937 Widespread labour unrest in the oilfield area.
1940 Refining capacity increased to approximately 285,000 bbl/day
1954 Marine drilling for oil began in the Soldado Field by Trinidad Northern Areas Limited (TRINMAR)
1954 Deepest well drilled on land Apex, Fyzabad Well No. 560 drilled to 16,155 feet.
1955 Discovery of the northern-most gas field in Trinidad at Mahaica, by Dominion Oil Limited.
1955 Production from Soldado oilfield at Trinmar initiated.
1958 First well started on platform 1.2 miles offshore from Brighton. The platform was designed to accommodate 36 wells, which was a world record for this type of platform.
1959 Federation Chemicals Ltd. pioneered the use of natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of ammonia.
1961 Galeota No. 1 first exploratory well drilled offshore the East Coast of Trinidad. Well produced oil but considered uneconomic.
1962 Formation of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines.
1963 Appointment of Commission of Enquiry into the Oil Industry.
1967 A new production high of 65 million barrels per year was achieved.
1968 First commercial oil discovery off the East Coast of Trinidad (off Pt. Radix)… well OPR-2.
1968 Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the United Nations carried out a seismic survey off Trinidad’s North Coast.
1969 New Petroleum Legislation enacted Act No. 46 of 1969.
1969 On July 1, Government in a joint venture with Tesoro Corporation acquired the local assets of British Petroleum; GOTT’s first venture into national ownership of an oil company.
1969 The National Petroleum Company was established by law.
1970 First Marine concessions under the new petroleum act were given out (North Coast Marine Areas).
1971 Drilling began off the North Coast of Trinidad…..natural gas discovered.
1972 Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company created.
1972 Commercial production began offshore the East Coast of Trinidad … from AMOCO’s Teak Platform.
1972 Delta Exploration Co., contracted to conduct a seismic survey of 2 million acres of offshore territory in East Coast and Gulf of Paria.
1974 On August 31st, Government acquired the local operations of Shell Trinidad Limited and formed the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company Limited (TRINTOC)
1974 Petroleum Taxes Act revised the taxation methods in the petroleum industry and introduced the Refinery Throughput Tax.
1975 Formation of the National Gas Company for the transmission and sales of natural gas.
1977 The Government of Trinidad and Tobago takes its option of an additional 20 per cent participation in South Coast Consortium as a commercial discovery is announced.
1977 Tringen- Commissioning activities were completed and the shipment of ammonia destined for the U.S.A. and Europe was begun.
1979 FERTRIN – Sod-breaking ceremony January 1979.
1980 Formation of the National Energy Corporation.
1980 Commissioning of the Iron and Steel Company of Trinidad and Tobago (ISCOTT)
1981 TRINTOC granted an Exploration and production (Public Petroleum Rights) Licence over Block 9-North of the NW Peninsula of Trinidad.
1982 TRINTOC enters into a processing agreement with TEXACO Trinidad Inc. for the processing of 1 million bbls of crude oil.
1982 Installation work begins on the second cross country pipeline by the National Gas Company.
1983 Cassia Gas Field comes on stream in May 1983
1983 Urea plant at Point Lisas commissioned in December 1983
1983 Decline in world crude oil prices. OPEC marker crude price cut from $34/bbl., which
adversely affects the local oil industry.
1983 Supplemental Petroleum Tax for land operations reduced from 35% to 15%.
1983 Offshore section of NOC 760 mm (30 inch) pipeline completed and put into service.
1983 Seismic survey using the vibroseis method initiated by Western Geophysical Co. (of USA)
1984 Crude oil production registers its first increase since 1978, production increased from 155.078 bbl/d to 163,937 bbl/d. This represents an increase in average daily production of 6.0% above the 1983 average.
1984 Data from the marine seismic new areas off the North and East Coast of Trinidad and Tobago, put on sale.
1984 Joint UNDP/ World Bank Assessment of Trinidad and Tobago undertaken.
1984 Methanol Plant at Point Lisas begins commercial production.
1985 AMOCO produces its 500 millionth barrel of crude oil i.e. 22.6% of total crude production for the country at that date.
1985 Submarine production allowance terminated with effect from 31.12.83.
1985 TEXTRIN is integrated with TRINTOC as some of its assets are acquired by GOTT.
1985 Fire on TRINTOC, Pointe-a-Pierre jetty kills 14 employees.
1985 GOTT acquired Tesoro Corporation’s 49.9% equity in Trinidad-Tesoro Petroleum Company Limited for 3.23 million barrels of residual fuel to be paid over a period of 18 months: May 1986 to November 1987. Name of the Company changed to Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company Limited (TRINTOPEC).
1986 OPEC failed to agree on an oil production policy that could have reversed the collapse in world oil prices. This decline in oil prices had a negative impact on the local oil industry.
1986 Compressed natural gas (as a substitute motor car fuel) pilot project is launched and the first CNG filling station inaugurated.
1988 Trintomar Limited incorporated to develop and operate acreage held by the SECC. Comprises Trintoc 40%, Trintopc 40% and NGC 20%.
1988 Three offshore blocks: 511, Lower Reverse ‘L”-shaped and “U”-shaped blocks put up for competitive bidding.
1988 GOTT revises Supplemental Petroleum Taxes and announces major tax incentives for workovers and marine heavy oil production.
1989 Bidding invited for four new blocks off the East Coast – Block 89/2, Block 89/3, Block 89/4 and Block 89/5.
1989 Introduction of the lease operatorship and farmout programme.
1989 Exploration and Production Licence signed for Block 5-11 (Trintopec/Mobil).
1989 Signing of the joint venture agreement for the formation of the Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd.
1989 Caribbean Ispat commenced operations in May 1989.
1990 Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago sign an oil cooperation agreement.
1991 Block 89/2 and 89/3 awarded to BHP (Americas) Inc. and Unocal Corporation respectively.
1991 Norsk Hydro-Agri Trinidad Limited commenced operations in January 1991. This company operates three ammonia plants in Point Lisas.
1991 Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited commenced operations.
1992 EOG Resources started operations. EOG is currently contracted to sell gas to NGC and condensate to Petrotrin.
1993 The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin) is registered on January 21, 1993, with an authorized share capital of TT$1,500 million. Petrotrin is the single entity formed as a result of the merger of the state-owned oil companies – Trintoc and Trintopec.
1993 British Gas signed a revised production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on September 09, 1993.
1993 Enron and British/Texaco lease marine fields Keskidee and Dolphin respectively.
1995 LNG Consortium forms Atlantic LNG.
1996 Start of construction of Atlantic LNG facility at Point Fortin.
1996 Government opens 3rd round of competitive bidding for 13 offshore leases for deep water production sharing contracts between itself and international companies
1996 Trinidad Exploration and Development Company Limited (TED) signed an exploration and production licence with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1996
1996 Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) signed a production sharing contract and started operations in Trinidad and Tobago in April 1996.
1996 Talisman (Trinidad) Holdings Limited signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in April 1996.
1996 ELF Exploration Trinidad B.V. signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in November, 1996.
1997 Repsol Exploration signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in January 1997.
1997 AGIP Trinidad and Tobago Limited signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in March 1997.
1997 Deminex Trinidad Petroleum GmbH signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in March 1997.
1997 Farmland MissChem Limited commenced operations in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
1997 Messer Trinidad and Tobago Limited entered into a joint venture with Neal and Massy and was incorporated in 1997. It operates three industrial gas plants in point Lisas.
1997 PCS Nitrogen Trinidad Limited acquired Arcadian’s operations.
1998 Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery Upgrade , a US$355 million project is completed and commissioned.
1998 EXXONMOBIL Exploration & Production Trinidad Limited signed a production sharing contract with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1998.
1998 Trinidad Shell Exploration and Production B. V. signed a production sharing contract with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1998.
1998 New Horizon commenced operations in September 1998.
1999 Venture Production (Trinidad) Limited entered into a joint venture with Petrotrin on October 1999.
1999 Atlantic LNG starts production with Train I.
2000 Agreement reached for expansion of Atlantic LNG trains 2 and 3.
2001 BHP Billiton announces that wells Canteen1 and Kairi 1 encountered significant oil and gas cloumns in previously untested un discovere Oligocene sands.
2001 Titan Methanol Company first production was in April 2001.
2001 Caribbean Nitrogen Company commenced operations.
2002 Vermillion entered into a joint venture with Petrotrin in August 2002.
2002 First commercial gas produced from British Gas North Coast Marine acreage.
2002 Trinidad’s 9th ammonia plant comes on stream.
2002 Phoenix Park Gas Processors signs a train 2 and train 3 natural gas liquids agreement with Atlantic LNG.
2002 Atlantic LNG train 2 first commercial shipment September 2002.
2002 bpTT begins installation of the worl’d second largest natural gas processing/production
platform in Kapok Field.
2002 Production of natural gas begins from Hibiscus field on the North Coast.
2002 BHP Billiton declares commerciality of the Greater Angoustra Structure, reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels oil & 1 tcf gas.
2002 BG / Texaco announces Dorado 1 gas discovery in block 5a.
2002 bptt announces that Iron Horse 1s1t has found 1tcf natural gas.
2002 TED spuds first exploration well on south-west penninsula lease.
2002 Block U-b awarded to Primera and EOG.
2002 Vintage Petroleum announces gas and condensate discovery at Carapal Ridge 1, onshore
Trinidad, 1st since Navette in 1957.
2002 Block 3A awarded to the consortium of BHP Billiton (operator) , TFE, BG & Talisman.
2002 Eastern Block awarded to Talisman (joint venture).
2002 EOG announced commercial gas discovery with Parula 1 in in the SECC block.
2002 EOG awarded Reverse L block.
2002 MOE begins aquisition of Ultra deep water 2D seismic survey.
2002 Venture Petroleum began exploration and development drilling on the Point Ligoure Joint Venture.
2002 Commercial production began from Osprey Field (EOG)
2002 Exxon-Mobil drilled 2 wells in blocks 25(b) and 26, bptt in Block 27 (deep water).
2002 bptt announced Red Mango 2st1 as a gas/condensate discovery.
2003 BPTT commissions the world’s largest offshore gas processing facility, Cassia B, capable of producing 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day.
2003 BPTT installs Bombax, BP’s largest diameter marine pipeline worldwide (48″) and one of the largest in the world.
2003 Cross border talks with Venezuela- signing an MOU and Letter of Intent.
2003 Offshore competitive bid rounds held for 9 shallow water shelf and deep water blocks
2003 A Draft of the Quarry Policy Green Paper was prepared.
2004 Six blocks were awarded from the “2003 Competitive Bid Rounds”: 1(a), 1(b), 3(b), 4(a), 5(c) and 22.
2004 Stimulation of production of onshore acreages via 1. PETROTRIN surrendering individual “Deeds of Surrender” and being re-awarded “Core Areas” licences incorporating new terms and conditions. 2. Establishing a consortium of companies for the Southern Basin onshore exploration project.
2004 Two new petrochemicals plant established: Atlas Methanol and the N2000
2004 Formulation and implementation of a “Local content policy”.
2005 ALNG Train 4 was completed ahead of schedule in December 2005
2005 Start of construction of the 56” Cross Island Pipeline (largest in the Western Hemisphere) from Beachfield to Pt. Fortin.
2005 Construction of four offshore platforms at LABIDCO: Oilbird, Cannonball, Cashima and Mango.
2005 the “2005/6 Competitive Bid Round” began which offered 8 onshore and 8 deepwater blocks.
2006 The Petroleum Fiscal Review was implemented which made amendments to major pieces of legislation including: Supplemental petroleum Tax. A new model PSC emerged from this review.
2007 The “Unitization Framework Treaty” for the cross border gas between Venezuela and TT was signed.
2007 9 blocks were awarded in the “2005/6 Competitive Bid Round”.
2009 BPTT Savonette platform installed and 1st gas produced.
2010 BPTT Serrette platform installed
2018 The oil Refinary at Pointe-a-Pierre closed