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Oceans Discovery continues to produce high-quality documentaries and docudramas dealing with the rich history of the Caribbean and other fascinating maritime related stories. The genre "period drama" has always been popular but for the past few years it certainly is experiencing a huge upward trend, especially programs with high production values. The film/television industry has changed so that cinema-quality is now being achieved even for documentaries and television series.

OD’s latest production is featuring a mix of true historical content, dramatic jungle and wildlife scenes, rarely seen archive footage and extensive visual effects. The film is encompassing the time periods from the late 16th century through to our modern world, tracking the lives and hardships of some of the early pioneers of the oil & gas industry of the Caribbean.

“Oil & Gas Pioneers of the Caribbean” (48 min. in 16:9 format) has been developed and filmed on various locations in Trinidad and Tobago.


This is the story of oil and gas exploration in the Caribbean and the role played by Trinidad and Tobago in the world’s quest for “black gold” - oil - a commodity which today shapes our lives, rules our economies and influences our political society.

The history of oil and gas exploration in Trinidad and Tobago tracks the course of the Republic’s relationship with its previous European colonial powers through to its independence and economic relationship with the world’s petro-chemical giants.

The story begins in 1595 when England’s Sir Walter Raleigh first used Trinidadian pitch to re-caulk the hulls of his ships. Sixty years later, the Dutch were doing likewise…. And so the need grew for locally available pitch in the Caribbean, and Trinidad and Tobago’s reputation began to spread around the world. Jump to the mid-nineteenth century and the first oil well dug by Darwent. Now the famous names start to come thick and fast. Stollmeyer, Rust, Lee Lum – pioneers of oil and gas exploration who put Trinidad and Tobago firmly on the world’s fossil fuel map. Their names and their personal endeavors to explore and exploit the country’s black gold are etched in the Republic’s history.


"OIL & GAS PIONEERS OF THE CARIBBEAN" has been filmed topside with three complete sets of AMIRA cameras and lenses. Amongst other uses they have been attached to a 30ft crane, a special steady-cam and to various tripods. One of the challenges has been filming on the Pitch Lake; the teams had to watch themselves and the equipment as everything has been sinking slowly into the soft tar-underground if not moved in time. Other filming locations have been at Chaguaramas, the rain forest behind Chaguaramas, the Caroni Swamps and the Nariva River. Additional scenes have been filmed at the Northern Range and on a great catamaran.

As for the narration: Patrick O’Connor has again lent his voice to this production. Patrick is also known for his role as “Gandalf” in “The Hunt For Gollum”, the prequel to the “Lord Of The Rings” films, produced by Independent Online Cinema.


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Kenneth S. Julien (Professor Emeritus),
T.C, C.M.T., B.Sc. (Hons.) E.E., Ph.D. (Energy Systems),
F.A.P.E.T.T, Fellow I.E.E., Fellow I.E.E.E., C.Eng.
Hon. L.L.D, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Clinton B. Ramberansingh
Deputy Chairman Industrial Plant Services Limited

Dr. Thackwray Driver

CEO Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago

Kevin Ramnarine
Past Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs

Philip Farfan

Petroleum Geologist, BSc, MSc, DIC

Philip Hamel-Smith
Partner Emeritus M Hamel-Smith & Co.

Prof. Dr. Brinsley Samaroo
Historian and Lecturer