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Tuesday 20 November 2018
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TRIM $800M FAT

Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet.
Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet.

AZARD ALI

WITH a Government mandate to split the company into two distinct divisions and do away with the current superstructure management, Petrotrin is moving rigorously to stem annual losses which have been put at $800 million.

This was revealed yesterday by Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet who said that expenses which Petrotrin could avoid, amounts to $400 million. A large chunk of this goes into paying top managers, the chairman disclosed.

Committed to carrying out government’s mandate in creating two autonomous operations in Petrotrin, Espinet said that the company has already “brought in” experts to restructure its management which will see vice presidents of various divisions being made redundant.

And, Espinet said, the company intends to conduct an audit to determine where it is getting value for money from its present lower-level workforce which is estimated to be approximately 3,000 employees.

Since being installed last September under the stewardship of Espinet, the Petrotrin’s board has been considering a report of the Petrotrin Review Committee.

In light of falling oil prices and as a consequence, decrease revenues, the report recommended Petrotrin establish its exploration separate from the company. Refining the oil and making various by-products will be separate. In January, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley led a Cabinet-appointed team which ratified the report and gave Petrotrin the green light. Already, Espinet said, Petrotrin has brought in specialists to look at every aspect of production and refining operations. Saying the company’s mission is to save $800 million yearly, the chairman commented on the top management positions in Petrotrin that has to go.

In Petrotrin, each division has a vice president. Espinet said, “Why need for all those vice presidents? It has created a balloon of cost that is not relevant. Out target is to stop the loss. If you say employment is merely putting people on a payroll, but not creating and producing, that company is going to collapse. Very often administration people see themselves as being more important than the function itself.”

Petrotrin is to be divided into exploration and refining as separate entities with their own respective management and employees. Production will focus on drilling wells and exploring for oil. Refining will focus on the 42,000 barrels of oil the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery needs to convert into products to sell to the local and international markets.

“Our missions will be to find markets for 42,000 barrels of oil....I mean the by-products such as gas, liquefied gas, diesel, kerosene etc.” Espinet declined to reveal how many vice presidents and managers would be sent home, nor, the extent to which the general workforce would be affected. He admitted that absenteeism at Petrotrin is rampant.

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