THE EDITOR: As late as mid-2017, Petrotrin was formulating ostensibly viable forward arrangements for profitability and adaptation. Among the items were reduction of expenses, increasing throughput, increasing indigenous crude production to the equivalent of a whole new field, freeing up cash flow for foreign operations, reducing the carbon footprint.
This is in addition to bringing new plant on-stream that had been in the works already – diesel, GTL, ship and jet fuel, etc.
From what appears, the only real impasse for Petrotrin was the bullet payment not entirely under its control. All other loans and debts were getting eliminated.
If these were genuine exercises, not a showcasing, it means that the sector-hub could have been kept going so as allow the whole industry to diversify its profits into new lines of production and new markets.
They would thus have been using their own profits and capital for funding diversification into new "greening" markets while holding down niche markets in existing oil and gas and petrochemicals. It also means that unions were blamed wrongly.
Lastly, it means that the Government would have retained a commanding position in terms of both earnings and competitive structures.
Knowing this backdrop is the way to assess what the Government will be proposing next for bringing back the energy industry. And hopefully it will not be a sell-out to foreign capital.