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New revelations in A&V issue

Published: 
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Franklin Khan

Energy Minister Franklin Khan is being asked to explain a new Petrotrin internal report which, according to attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, casts doubt on whether the energy company was justified in terminating a contract with A&V Oil and Gas for production and supply of crude oil.

The August 2017 report, which was compiled by Petrotrin’s internal audit team, was passed to Maharaj by St Augustine MP Prakash Ramadhar, who told the T&T Guardian he preferred that Maharaj speak on the issue.

Ramadhar, who first raised the issue with Khan two weeks ago but got no response, confirmed that he will be taking the issue to Parliament again, hopefully tomorrow.

A&V was accused in an internal audit report of overstating the oil it supplied to Petrotrin. The energy company ended its contract with A&V for production in the Catshill field, Moruga, after those findings were confirmed by independent foreign auditors Kroll and Gafney Cline.

Maharaj is expected to reveal details of the report later today but said it “casts doubt on whether Petrotrin was justified to terminate A&V’s contract with Petrotrin for the production and supply by A&V of crude to Petrotrin.”

He said the report found that the data and measurements Petrotrin used in the internal audit report were faulty. Maharaj added that Petrotrin’s failure to disclose the report sent by Ramadhar to A&V’s lawyers “raises serious questions on the reliability of the internal audit report on which Petrotrin relied to terminate A&V’s contract.”

He said this affects the public interest as Petrotrin is losing revenue and its debt burden has been put at close to $15 billion. He said the company needs all the available revenue and if it wrongfully terminated a contract from which it earned substantial revenues “that is an injustice against the public.”

Petrotrin officials have declined comment on the matter.

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