Energy and Energy Industries Minister Franklin Khan says the future of the energy sector under Heritage Petroleum Company Limited is bright.
He gave this assurance as the Peoples National Movement (PNM) local government campaign moved into the Siparia stronghold of the United National Congress (UNC) on Thursday.
Speaking to supporters at the Thick Village Community Centre in Fyzabad, Khan said change in the oil industry is nothing new. He reiterated that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his Cabinet made the harsh decision to restructure Petrotrin because it was haemorrhaging money, its operating costs were high and production was decreasing.
Declaring that Heritage was doing well, Khan added: “The future of the oil sector lies squarely on the legs of Heritage.”
The minister boasted that the company had on Wednesday produced 38,900 barrels of oil due to ramped up activity. Giving a broader picture of what is happening in the sector, Khan said there were 19 lease operators and farm-out owners, most of them local entities.
He said in the first three quarters, Heritage operated the company and generated $3.287 billion in revenue and its debt servicing was $543 million.
Khan added that Petrotrin’s debt and loans will be paid almost entirely from the cash flow of Heritage.
He said despite gloomy predictions from naysayers, including MSJ political leader David Abdulah and the COP’s Carolyn Seepersad Bachan, crude oil is selling and making money at a premium price on the international market. Also, in about six months, 800 people will be directly employed with Heritage, he said.