EDINBURGH-based Capricorn Energy appears to have cooled on the idea of exploring for oil and gas on the Caribbean island of Trinidad after assessing prospects with a firm developed by a veteran of the North Sea industry.

Capricorn, which achieved renown as Cairn Energy, teamed up with Trinity Exploration & Production to look at opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinity announced in April last year that the firms were considering participating in a bid round covering onshore acreage and also in the potential redevelopment of the Jubilee field offshore.

After announcing in October that the two firms would not make a bid in respect of Jubilee, Trinity said yesterday that they had decided not to participate further in the bidding process in respect of North West District acreage.

The company said that following a full review of the data, the consortium decided the high technical and operational risks significantly challenged the commercial attractiveness of the opportunity.

The updates in respect of the work completed with Capricorn followed the announcement in August that the founder of Trinity, Bruce Dingwall, had died suddenly at the age of 61.

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Mr Dingwall founded Trinity after helping to develop Aberdeen-based Venture Production into one of the leading independents operating in the North Sea. Venture was bought by energy giant Centrica for £1.3 billion in 2009.

Mr Dingwall developed Trinity out of assets in Trinidad and Tobago acquired from Venture in 2005, a year after he left the company. He was born in Trinidad to English parents.

Trinity runs its business development function from Edinburgh.

The first quarter update issued by Trinity yesterday underlines the scale of the boost to revenues that oil firms have enjoyed following the rise in the crude price amid the recovery from the pandemic. The price rose further after Russia launched its assault on Ukraine in February.

Trinity got an average $83.1 per barrel for its output in the quarter to March 31, against $52.3/bbl in the same period of 2021. Quarterly revenues increased by 52 per cent to $21.9m from $14.4m.

Brent crude sold for $109.21/bbl yesterday afternoon, down around $4/bbl on the day amid concerns about the outlook for the global economy.

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Trinity’s chief executive Jeremy Bridglalsingh said the firm has a resilient, growing business, and is focused on optimising returns from its assets.

He noted: “We remain confident that the Government understands the requirement for fiscal reform, despite the near-term outlook for crude oil prices, in order to accelerate the country-wide development of oil and gas resources and to stimulate development of a more robust independent sector in Trinidad.”

Capricorn declined to comment on Trinity’s announcement.

The company made big finds in India during its Cairn Energy days under the leadership of its founder Sir Bill Gammell. Simon Thomson succeeded the former Scotland rugby internationalist as chief executive in 2011.

Cairn changed its name to Capricorn Energy in December.

Capricorn currently has exploration interests in countries ranging from Mexico to Mauritania. Last year it sold stakes in two big producing fields in the UK North Sea to Waldorf Production for an initial $460m and bought a half share in a big portfolio in Egypt from Shell for $320m.