The economic cost to T&T of non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes and hypertension is $8.7 billion annually, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says.
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New natural gas output will ease tight supply
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine is promising that over the next two years, more natural gas will come on stream and the tight relationship between supply and demand will ease.
“We expect Starfish to come on around September/October. I have to crunch the numbers again, but I expect us to be in a positive situation with Starfish coming on with that quantum of gas,” Ramnarine told the Business Guardian.
Starfish is a field discovered by BG T&T in 1998, and which is expected to be developed by the end of the year and bring gas into production.
In an interview following liquified natural gas (LNG) producer Atlantic’s award dinner at the Hilton Trinidad, the Energy Minister added, “Going forward, we have to continue to do a number of things. BHP is going to be doing Angostura Phase III, which will bring on more gas and we expect that from all the infill drilling that BP has in the next two years, more gas will be made available and, of course, we have Juniper.”
Ramnarine estimated that Starfish will produce at a plateau rate of about 250 million cubic feet, while Angostura Phase III will add another 100 million cubic feet of gas to T&T's gas grid.
Starfish alone would add six per cent to T&T's total gas production, he said.
Ramnarine’s comments follow reports that natural gas curtailment was costing the treasury millions of US dollars in potential tax revenues as production in the downstream sector was reduced due to a shortage of gas.
It has been three years now that the downstream sector has been clamouring for more natural gas. Ramnarine had promised an ease in the shortage when bpTT’s major maintenance work was over. That work came to an end in the last quarter of 2013 and while there have been improvements there still isn’t sufficient to meet the demands of the downstream producers.