Jan 24, 2023 News
…T&T Energy Minister tells oil companies “this is non-negotiable”
By: Kiana Wilburg and Davina Bagot (reporting from Trinidad and Tobago)
Kaieteur News – As Trinidad and Tobago enters new negotiations with oil companies seeking to start up operations in the Twin Island Republic, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young has put them on notice that the country will accept nothing less than “the best deals.”
The Minister signaled this position at the T&T Energy Conference that opened on Monday at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad. This year, the conference is being held under the theme ‘Navigating a Complex Energy Mix’.
Trinidad and Tobago earlier this month announced that 16 bids were received during its public auction for exploring and developing oil and natural gas at eight onshore blocks. T&T had made it clear last year that it is prepared to reject bids from two of the country’s major oil and gas producers as they have failed to meet the country’s minimum requirement for accessing its offshore oil blocks.
An exclusive Reuters report said that the Trinidad Government is set to have discussions with BP Plc BP.L and Shell Plc SHEL.L, the only two companies that took part in its oil block auction, but will be holding back its deep-water assets if the oil majors cannot come to terms with the basic requirements of the twin island’s most recent bid round.
Reuters said that Trinidad could reject four of the offshore exploration bids presented by BP Plc BP.L and Shell Plc SHEL.L. It said that Trinidad and Tobago’s deep-water bid round closed in early June with offers received only from a BP-Shell consortium on four of the 17 available blocks. It was noted that the country’s Energy Ministry objected to the offers’ conditional commitment to drill new wells and what it described as a meager signing bonus. The consortium’s bid proposed to evaluate seismic data before committing to a drilling plan, the report said.
Yesterday, Young told stakeholders at the conference, “The Government is proactive, we are listening and we are ready to work with you with one mandate. The Government is going to get the best deal and the best returns for the people of Trinidad and Tobago so when you are coming to the table to talk to us, just bear that one thing in mind, because that’s the one non-negotiable. Everything else is negotiable.”
In Guyana, Politicians have refused to correct the lopsided Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) the country signed with oil giant, ExxonMobil. That agreement has been described as one of the worst in the entire global industry. While the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government agrees that the contract is lopsided, it will not change the deal. It said future contracts will have better terms that ensure more benefit to the country.
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