OPERATIONS at the Pointe-a-Pierre oil refinery may resume in the second half of 2019.
The Prime Minister said in his feature address at the opening of the of the 2019 Energy Conference and Trade Show hosted by the Energy Chamber at the Hyatt Regency yesterday.
Dr Rowley said a request for proposals is currently being finalised while “expressions of interest” have been received from about 50 “interested parties”, including the Oilfield Workers Trade Union.
“It is projected that entire process of receiving, evaluating and selection of the successful bidder will be completed by the end of June 2019. This process could see the new holding company making a recommendation to Government by mid-year with this resulting in reopening of refining operations sometime later on, without taxpayer exposure.
“This all depends entirely on what the interested parties propose to the Government in the months ahead.” Refinery operations ceased on November 30, with the closure of Petrotrin.
He said while TT’s gas production has “flourished”, its oil production has “stagnated and languished’ with oil production standing at a “low of approximately 66,000 barrels per day.” Rowley said two-thirds of that production is from Heritage Petroleum which acquired petroleum production from Petrotrin.
He said Petrotrin, which held most of the country’s oil reserves, was also responsible for the drastic decline in oil production as “much needed capital was diverted to other parts of the business, which in several instances offered little or no financial returns.”
He said Heritage has projected that crude oil production could be restored to pre-2018 levels at approximately 40,000 barrels of oil per day through an extensive workover programme involving up to 18 work-over rigs on its land assets.
He said Heritage has sold “several cargoes of crude oil” and has received a price “as high WTI plus US$2.00.” West Texas Intermediate is currently trading at US $54.59 per barrel on the US Nasdaq stock exchange. He said Paria Fuels, which is responsible for the importation of fuel, holds a continuous 20 day supply.