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Sunday 22 October 2017
Local

EITI: A&V was not part of the reporting system

At a glance
  • A&V did not participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reporting system
  • Therefore, EITI reports did not expose the production and payment discrepancies in the ‘fake oil’ scandal
  • EITI is considered a voluntary initiative, companies are not forced to participate

A&V Drilling and Workover Limited did not participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) reporting system. According to TT EITI Steering Committee chairman Victor Hart, this was the reason why TTEITI reports did not expose the alleged production volumes and payment discrepancies which are central to the fake oil scandal, involving the A&V and State oil company Petrotrin.

Hart said this does not mean that the EITI reporting system failed with respect to the fake oil scandal. He said what this underscores is the importance for the reporting requirements of all energy companies to proposed EITI legislation, be mandatory. Hart explained that because EITI is a voluntary initiative, "companies cannot be forced to participate." Hart also said problems regarding the accuracy of production figures provided by the Energy Ministry had surfaced during the tenure of the former People's Partnership (PP) government. According to Hart, these problems were brought to the PP's attention and assurances were given that they would be corrected.

He disclosed that this year, TTEITI met on two occasions with all of Petrotrin’s Lease and Farm Out Operators (LOFOs), including A&V. He said those meetings were to explain the EITI process and benefits and to ask these companies for their participation.

"A&V met the qualifying threshold of $25 million in revenue payments and, therefore, was eligible to participate," he said. However, Hart added, "We did not get buy-in from these smaller independent operators and they declined to participate and thus remain outside our group of companies. "

Despite its non-participation in the EITI, Hart said A&V is mentioned in the EITI 2014 and 2015 reports as being one of Petrotrin's LOFOs. He indicated that in 2015, Petrotrin, paid the Government, on behalf of its LOFOs and IPSCs, $25,989,955 in revenues. "That payment will have included A&V's liability," he stated. Hart said the fake oil scandal “raises the bigger issue of enacting EITI legislation that could make EITI participation mandatory, instead of voluntary.”

He said this will ensure, "that all extractive companies submit to us information on both their revenue payments and production volumes." Hart was confident that once such a system is in place, citizens will have independent assurance from the EITI reports on both revenues and production of all extractive companies. He reiterated that this is the data which is, “at the heart of the 'fake oil scandal'”

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