EXPECT a budgetary fallout from the Government’s planned closure of the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery, and shifted focus to the export of crude oil, warned Congress of the People (COP) leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan.
She told Newsday of her concerns of a shortfall in revenues actually earned compared to projections likely to be touted by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
While Imbert on October 1 will predicate his expected Budget revenues on a figure he predicts on the world oil-market, actually realising these sums won’t be so simple, Seepersad-Bachan warned.
The former energy minister said in the past the Government had based its calculations of revenues on a quite high oil-price that it charged the refinery to buy 40,000 barrels of oil per day from Petrotrin’s crude production. She thought that these high prices were unlikely to be realised by the Government selling that same crude oil on the international market. Seepersad-Bachan also noted that the price of selling TT’s oil is also reduced because of its high sulphur content and adjusted because of its API (heaviness.)
Further she said it is very difficult to estimate the value of TT’s oil, as United States shale oil has greatly affected the oil-price, such as a fast-shifting differential between the prices of Brent and WTI crudes. Seepersad-Bachan used the opportunity to say that the refinery (“downstream”) had been supporting Petrotrin’s oil-extraction business (“upstream”,) as she totally rejected the Government’s stance that it had been the opposite.