National Petroleum Corporation

The National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) is a statutory body set up with responsibility for the management of the distribution of natural gas supply in Barbados for domestic, commercial and industrial use.


The purpose of the enterprise is to provide and maintain an adequate, reliable, competitive, safe and efficient gas service to customers at a reasonable cost. The Corporation's general functions - the production of crude oil, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, are permitted by statute and carried out by an associated company, the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOCL). Since January 2006, the Corporation has held 24.5% of the equity of BNOCL while the Government of Barbados holds the remainder.


Through the Years

1870's - As far back as 1870 a number of hand-dug shafts known as the Lloyd's oil wells were sunk to a depth of 100 feet on the east coast of the island yielding a small production of heavy tar oil.


In 1873 The Barbados Gas Company Ltd was formed. Its head office in England manufactured gas from coal. Because of its high cost, the use of gas was restricted to the elite in the areas through which mains were laid.


1940's - By 1940 very little expansion had been achieved and the numbers of consumers were then only about 500. The revenue gains were not enough to properly maintain and further expand the distribution system.


This situation was further compounded by a shortage of coal during World War II, therefore when natural gas became available the Barbados Gas Company bought gas to fulfil their commitments.


1950's - In 1950 the Natural Gas Corporation was created and by 1955 had only been responsible for production and transmission. The Natural Gas Corporation then took over the distribution operations from the Barbados Gas Co Ltd.


A massive programme was started to correct some of the problems of the previous operation and to execute an ongoing expansion programme to bring natural gas within the reach of the less privileged Barbadians.


1980's - The National Petroleum Corporation was established by an act of parliament in 1979 but remained dormant until 1982 when the functions of the Natural Gas Corporation were transferred to the National Petroleum Corporation.


The primary function of the NPC is the sale of natural gas for domestic, commercial and industrial use through its pipeline network.


2000's - The National Petroleum Corporation embarked on its largest Capital Expansion Project - Gasworks 2000 aimed at bringing natural gas to an additional 4,000 households in the island. Though faced with challenges caused by the high cost of excavation and reinstatement for this project, by 2003 the Corporation had successfully completed a wide range of household installations.


Looking Ahead

The Government of Barbados has mandated the National Petroleum Corporation to make natural gas available to the entire island. NPC has embarked on some initiatives to facilitate this mandate.


Importation of Natural Gas

The recent decline in local reserves coupled with a growing demand for natural gas has prompted government to institute further research on the viability of allowing the importation of natural gas into Barbados.


Natural Gas Vehicles

Acknowledging that energy prices are steadily escalating, the National Petroleum Corporation in collaboration with Courtesy Garage has embarked on a pilot project that has seen the introduction of Natural Gas Vehicles to its vehicle fleet.


Natural Gas Air-Conditioning

National Petroleum Corporation has been utilizing natural gas air-conditioning technology over the past ten years to cool the lobby, hallways, meter work shop and cashier station of the Corporation's office.


Additionally, there are two major installations of natural gas air-conditioning units in operation in the island with a scope for further development in the hotel and commercial sector.


NPC would like to add more natural gas air-conditioning customers to its client base; however, the expansion is limited because of the low volume of natural gas supply from Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOCL).


The above information on the National Petroleum Corporation was sourced directly from their website.



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