Jan 24, 2023 News
– Organisers issue apology after President Ali’s intervention
By Kiana Wilburg and Davina Bagot reporting from Trinidad and Tobago
Kaieteur News – A grave blunder occurred yesterday at Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Conference where an erroneous map on Guyana, produced by Rystad Energy, was used as part of a panel discussion.
The map depicted a portion of the Stabroek Block overlapping into Venezuela’s territorial waters. The panel discussion centred on the role the Southern Caribbean can play in meeting the global demand for natural gas. Wazim Mowla, Assistant Director of the Caribbean Initiative, Atlantic Council, Ronald Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic, Mark Loquan, Head of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Antero Alvarado, Managing Director of Gas Energy Latin America, and Bryan Ramsumair, Managing Director of DeNovo Energy, led the conversation. It was moderated by Dr. Thackwray Driver, President and CEO of the Energy Chamber.
Driver at the start of the discussions, called for a map to be pulled up to serve as the springboard for their talks on how Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Barbados and other territories may leverage their resources as a united block to meet the world’s energy needs.
Kaieteur News’ team, which included Publisher Glenn Lall, observed that a portion of the block was overlapping Venezuela’s maritime borders. Efforts were made to bring this to the attention of the panel during the discussions but to no avail. Lall said it is important that this matter be raised with Organisers as more than 700 individuals were being misled. More importantly, he noted that Guyana and Venezuela are before the International Court of Justice where the former has laid out an irrefutable case on the parameters of its territorial sovereignty. He said the map being shown or featured in the backdrop of discussions about Trinidad’s eagerness to harness Venezuela’s gas resources is “distasteful” to say the least.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, the Kaieteur News team informed Driver that the map is incorrect. He refused to accept that it is, saying that it connects with another block in Venezuela to which Kaieteur News strongly objected to. He said the Consultant is responsible for the map. That company is Rystad Energy, a consultancy group that is well known for providing skewed reports on Guyana’s oil industry. The matter regarding the erroneous map was also forwarded to President, Dr. Irfaan Ali who was one of the presenters for the opening session of the conference along with Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley. The Head of State was not present for the session on gas resources. In fact, no Guyanese policymaker was part of the panel discussion that touched on how the nation’s gas resources could be utilised.
In response to the issue, the Head of State said he raised the matter with Organisers and was sure to register his disappointment. He said he was given all assurance that an apology would be issued.
In a statement on the matter, the Organiser of the conference, the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Chamber said it was a regrettable error and apologized for same. The full statement reads as follows: “At the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference 2023 being hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, during a panel discussion titled ‘The role that the Southern Caribbean can play in meeting the global demand for natural gas,’ a map developed by Rystad Energy was shown. This map erroneously showed the Stabroek Block in Guyana overlapping into the Venezuelan border. This error is regrettable and the Energy Chamber unreservedly apologizes for any confusion. A new map will be developed and disseminated.”
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