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Thursday 20 September 2018
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Govt going after ‘pockets of gas’

Govt going after ‘pockets of gas’

Panel discussion at the Energy Ministry's Spotlight on Energy forum at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on March 14: L-R Anthony Paul , Minister of Energy &Energy Industries Franklin Khan , Moderator of panel discussion Minister Stuart Young, Gregory McGuire and Graham Hartnell. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS.

GOVERNMENT has incorporated a company that will now “partner with more nimble players” in TT’s energy sector to tap into stranded pockets of gas which would otherwise have been left untapped.

The announcement comes from Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, who was addressing stakeholders and the nation yesterday during the panel discussion portion of the Energy Ministry’s Spotlight on Energy forum, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.

“It’s an opportune moment for us as a government to tell the citizens of TT that we’ve taken a policy decision to create a company that will partner with people in the upstream because we see a great opportunity...on the exploration and production of gas, especially in marginal and stranded fields.”

Young noted that going after these pockets of gas is not economical for the large upstream companies because of their cost.

However with demand continuing to exceed supply in TT and with the National Gas Company (NGC) “waiting on the gas to then sell to the downstream,” Young explained that government has “incorporated a company that will now look to venture and partner with more nimble players in the upstream.”

“I wouldn’t call the names of some of these players because we’ve now started conversations with them but (the aim is) to go and find those stranded pockets of gas, and in those marginal fields, and bring it to production so we can then sell it on to downstream (companies).”

During that same panel discussion, Energy Minister Franklin Khan reiterated that while “upstream companies have committed to spend over US$10 billion in exploration and development activities over the next five years”, TT is still leaking revenue.

“We are leaking revenue largely because of transfer pricing issue and the nature of the Atlantic LNG (liquefied natural gas) contracts, in terms of the LNG industry. Poten and Partners has articulated where value is being lost and why, sensu stricto (strictly speaking), the companies can claim that they are not illegally breaching any contract.”

“Obviously, the contract is ripe for re-negotiation because my basic principle is that the State has a sovereign right to extract a fair economic rent on behalf of the owners of the resources (TT citizens)...We have to plug the leaks (and) I am very, very positive and optimistic that an amicable solution will be found.”

Khan said government intends to do so when contracts for the sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Atlantic’s four-train liquefaction facility in Pt Fortin come up for renewal.

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