ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan gave the Opposition UNC a free education on geography and energy matters in the House of Representatives on Friday.
Responding to a question from Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes, Khan said, “The marine vessel FSO Nabarima is located in the waters of the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela and is not in between the waters of TT and Venezuela.”
Reiterating the vessel poses no environmental danger to TT, Khan continued, “This vessel has been at its present location for over a decade.”
Providing more information on the Nabarima, he said, “The Nabarima is an floating storage and offloading vessel which is utilised for the export of Venezuelan crude oil produced from the Corocoro field, right there in the Venezuelan side of the Gulf of Paria.”
He reminded all MPs it is public knowledge that Venezuelan authorities are systematically offloading and transporting any crude oil stored on the Nabarima, away from the area to eliminate the threat of an oil spill.
Khan said it is also well known that Government established the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan 2020 and since 1989, there has been a bilateral oilspill contingency plan developed between TT and Venezuela to deal with potential oil spills in the gulf. “These plans are already in place.”
In addition, Khan indicated, “ The relevant government agencies, upstream oil and gas operators and the tier three response agency have been on alert(in the event of a spill.”
Responding to an earlier question from Mayaro MP Rushton Paray, Khan was amazed by what he described as the UNC’s inability to understand all energy matters. When Paray demanded a completion date for phase two of the Galeota Port development project, Khan told UNC MPs, “The conversation that you all don’t seem to understand. these are very, very complex discussions.”It calls for a lot of discussions, details and market research.”
He reminded all MPs that the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) invited public private partnership proposals from suitably qualified local and international firms to undertake phase two of the project.
Arising from that exercise, Khan said Nidco is currently in discussions with a preferred bidder for the project. He explained that once these discussions are successfully completed, a time frame for completion of the project will be announced.
While he could not commit to a time frame at this time, Khan observed, “Time is of the essence.”