Trinidad to bankroll local companies’ regional energy foray
The Export Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago will be restructured to support Caribbean energy projects by local companies.
Finance minister Colm Imbert made the announcement during his 2021 budget presentation this week.
“We will develop Trinidad and Tobago as a regional hub for energy services, in particular in view of the emerging and ready markets in Guyana and Suriname,” said Imbert.
The minister said that energy service exports will be driven by a public-private partnership scheme with tax incentives.
Also Read How Guyana is paving the way for a new Caribbean energy hub
The pandemic has further impacted the country’s energy service companies which already had to operate in a depressed oil and gas price environment.
“The challenges posed by the global energy industry and the associated over-supply situation as well as our own declining rates of production in the gas and oil sectors require us to develop our remaining oil and gas resources in a cost-efficient manner,” he added.
The minister said, nevertheless, that “up-streamers have kept faith with our country,” highlighting that upstream investment in 2021 is forecast at US$2bn, a similar amount to this year’s projected spend.
Imbert said that the energy ministry expects natural gas production in 2020-21 to average 3.2Bf3/d and for crude oil and condensate output to reach 60,000b/d this year, increasing to 80,000b/d in 2022.
To improve the investment climate, the minister pointed to a review of the Petroleum Taxes Act to streamline the regime and make it more competitive, and a review of the Supplemental Petroleum Tax, particularly for small producers and mature fields.
"Through such reforms, which are happening globally, incentivizing increased activity and greater oil production will lead to maximizing recovery from our reservoirs – which in turn will lead to enhanced employment opportunities and a step-change in potential cash generation levels and returns for operators,” Bruce Dingwall, executive chairman of local junior Trinity Exploration & Production, said in a statement.
Regarding the sale of the Point-a-Pierre refinery, Imbert said that if an agreement is not reached with Patriotic Technologies by October 31, the government will consider other options.
The liberalization of the fuel market also was pitched by Imbert, who argued that such a move is justified in the context of forecast international oil prices.
And another area emphasized by the minister was advancement on the clean energy front, such as the Couva (92.2MW) and Trincity (20MW) solar projects, and hydrogen.
The minister’s 2021 budget presentation is available here.
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