4 firms compete for the Pointe-à-Pierre refinery
Four international companies are interested in acquiring the Pointe-Ã -Pierre oil refinery, Energy Minister Stuart Young said on Friday, providing an update on the energy sector in the House of Representatives against an opposition motion condemning the government’s management of the economy.
He said the four were now going through the request for proposals (RFP) process to acquire the plant, and that he and Finance Minister Colm Imbert were monitoring developments.
âThere was a visit to the first. The second is either here now or about to visit.
“They continue to go through the tendering process with international advisers, so all is not lost with the refinery and it continues.”
Overall, he said: âThe restructuring of Petrotrin has gone well economically and financially.
He said in June that revenues at Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd, the state’s exploration and production company, had fallen from $ 3.2 billion to $ 4.9 billion in the first nine months of 2020 and 2021 respectively. This equates to an increase in profits from $ 700 million to $ 1.2 billion, he added. Young said Paria Fuel Trading is to be commended for providing fuel to TT and Caricom countries in a transparent and cost effective manner.
Lamenting that the former UNC government drained $ 16 billion from the National Gas Company, including $ 1 billion for the controversial Beetham wastewater treatment plant, Young boasted that NGC had just completed a profit of $ 1.05 billion (after tax), compared to last year’s loss.
Stating that TT must remain competitive to attract foreign investment in the energy sector, he said his ministry and the finance ministry were reviewing the supplementary oil tax (SPT) regime.
“We will come up with a reformed SPT tax system. We are looking at it and they are working the numbers.”
Young provided an update on TT’s share of the once unitary Loran-Manatee gas field straddling the TT / Venezuela maritime border (which TT will now explore on its own due to sanctions against Venezuela).
âOn the gas side, we have shown through the Manatee PSC (production sharing contract) negotiated with Shell that we can cross the line and remain competitive globally by attracting $ 1.8 billion in the Manatee field. ” He said there are many other upstream projects that would attract investment as well.
âWe put out a deepwater tender. I just got back from Houston with a team promoting it. There is a lot of interest from the current players and luckily for TT we have to. big upstream producers. We have EOG, BHP, Shell, BP and smaller ones like Perenco and Touchstone. Some of them are interested in these deep water rounds. “
Young said that in the first half of 2022, he will be issuing tenders for both shallow water and onshore.
“Again, a number of these companies have already named blocks of interest to them.” He said the government is working hard for the people to ensure TT remains competitive in a rapidly changing global energy landscape.
“We will fight hard to get the maximum benefit for the people at TT while remaining competitive.”
He boasted of platforms and platforms now made locally. “We are going to see an increase in exploration and production.”
He said BHP Billiton increased gas production from 360 to 400 million cubic feet per day, due to cooperation with the government and NGC and attracting investment.
Young praised the Prime Minister for attracting investment from energy companies, through his high-profile visits to Houston and Australia.
âThe two EOG executives in Houston reminded me that it was the meeting with the PM a few years ago that gave them the confidence to continue watching TT and that they will now invest aggressively. here for the next two years. “
Young said Dr Rowley’s grueling trip to Australia sparked more interest in TT from BHP Billiton. He praised a new drilling joint venture between EOG and Heritage.
Young said EOG expects significant new oil production from the Soldado fields, despite production delays linked to covid19.
He listed ongoing projects from Shell, bpTT, EOG, Perenco and Touchstone, saying: âThere is a lot going on in the energy sector that was not happening before. “
Young bragged about petrochemical companies like Nutria, Proman and Methanex, while claiming that several recently closed factories were 30-40 years old and would have needed a lot of work to meet requirements to reduce emissions by sequestering carbon. However, he suggested building facilities for carbon capture, sequestration and injection near the Point Lisas petrochemical plants. (Instead of being emitted as a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide can be captured in facilities and then injected into oil wells to improve oil recovery, especially in maturing fields / exhaustion more and more common in TT.)
Expressing his support for renewable energies, he hoped that contracts could be signed by January for the construction of a 102 megawatt solar park by Lightsource bp.
He said that if TT considers diversification, there remains a hydrocarbon economy capable of attracting new investment, just like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, Young said TT remains a hydrocarbon economy, with the energy sector – oil, gas, LNG, and petrochemicals like ammonia and methanol – contributing 33% to GDP. Refusing opposition, he blamed high food prices on the pandemic which he said had affected every country in the world, with record inflation rates reported internationally on Friday. He said the government had put a new tax rate of 35 percent on banks that recently made super profits.