Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and bp’s interim chief executive officer Murray Auchincloss have discussed prospective initiatives including the pursuit of deep-water exploration and sanctioning of future projects.
Dr Rowley met with Auchincloss at bp’s London headquarters yesterday, according to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.
He was accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young as well as the president of bp Trinidad and Tobago David Campbell.
At the talks, bp’s executive sought to affirm that Trinidad and Tobago remains an important part of its global operations. The negotiating teams working to restructure Atlantic LNG were also praised at the discussion.
However, former Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine said there is a lack of transparency between the parties involved on any potential shareholder agreement to be signed.
He also lamented that natural gas production remains woefully low in T&T.
“I am seeing a possible scenario where bp’s production of natural gas in the next 12 to 15 months could dip below one billion cubic feet of natural gas. It’s nothing to be proud about. It’s something to be very worried about. So, while the Prime Minister goes and he signs the restructuring of Atlantic LNG, the bottom line is we don’t have sufficient gas to fill those trains,” he said.
“I’m hearing that a likely date for gas from deepwater is now 2030, towards the end of the decade. That’s a pretty long way away and we need gas like right now,” he continued.
Ramnarine was referring to Train’s 2, 3 and 4 since the restructuring does not apply to Train 1. He also claimed the trains are operating at around 60 per cent capacity, which is insufficient.
However, the former minister said the Dragon Gas Deal may not be the solution to the natural gas shortage facing the country.
“We cannot bet the kitchen sink, as we are doing, on the Dragon deal. We have to look for other avenues to produce natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago. Our deep water being the biggest potential for that. And we have to accelerate the diversification of the Trinidad and Tobago economy. I am not seeing any sort of emergency around either,” he added.
Meanwhile, energy expert Anthony Paul said he was happy to see the Government meeting with energy stakeholders. However, he said he was hopeful the meeting was preceded by an agreement on clear actions and deliverables.
At a media conference on November 20, Dr Rowley told reporters that Train 1 allowed the Government to have a seat at the table to negotiate the outcome of Trains 2 and 3. He said the new arrangement which brings Trains 2, 3 and 4 together allows the State to benefit from a percentage of ownership across all three. While he noted that ownership in Train 4 was around 11 per cent, he did not say the percentage for the others.