Do not think of yourselves, but think of the nation was the message given to oil and gas stakeholders by Minister of Energy Stuart Young during the first energy forum held virtually on Tuesday.
“Having been in government for the last six years, I have realised that this is sometimes a difficult concept. I accept that people must advocate for themselves – and that may be a human instinct – but my challenge to you all as a membership is to compare and contrast that to what may be best for the country.”
He assured the energy stakeholders that hydrocarbons will be in demand for decades to come. He added that in the transition conversation where it has been determined as necessary to lessen the use of fossil fuels, coal is the first target, followed by oil and then by gas.
“Fortunately in Trinidad and Tobago gas is the main driver of our hydrocarbon industry. I am thinking that there will be a 2028 – 2030 horizon for oil but do I think that oil will disappear by that stage? The answer is no.”
“I understand your concern but my advice is let’s not panic. Let us do what is necessary.”
Young said the government is going to look at the reform of its fiscal measures for the hydrocarbon industry. He said last week’s signing of an agreement with Shell on the Manatee/Loran gas field was evidence of government’s commitment to negotiating competitive terms to get projects going.
“The terms of the Manatee PSC was competitive enough to have shell move toward commitment of an investment of over USD$1.8 billion to develop the largest gas field that will be developed in decades. And it was not by the government sticking its heels in and saying that things must only be done a certain way. The same thing is going to happen on the oil production side.”
He added that reform on the regimes that govern contractual arrangements on oil and gas production will be coming as early as in the first quarter of 2022. He added that he intends to go to cabinet with the deepwater bid rounds. He added that he also intends to lead a team to the world petroleum congress expected to be held from December 5-9 in Houston, USA.
“When those bid rounds become public you will see that we have listened and made the necessary adjustments to ensure that there is success in people entering in bid rounds and the future development of oil and gas in TT.”
Young, in using the saying “a rising tide raises all ships,” urged stakeholders to determine what each individual can do to drive TT forward in the changing energy environment.
“If we do that, I guarantee that, as the tide rises, we will all rise.”