STCIC predicts plenty of oil in Trinidad and Tobago

Oct 02, 2008 02:00 AM

Oil and gas production is expected to continue for many more years with oil having already survived 100 years and natural gas 50, new president of the South Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce (STCIC), Charles Percy, has predicted.
His prediction about the future of the industry came minutes after his election to the organisation's top post for the 2008-2009 term, at the Chamber's annual general meeting held at its offices at Cross Crossing, San Fernando.

Percy's prognosis of the industry was supported by the Chambers' immediate past president, Rampersad Motilal, who stated in his outgoing report, "There is still a lot of oil in the ground in Trinidad and it is important that we find the best policy and ownership regime to bring this to the surface, using the best available technology." The statements by two senior executives employed in the energy industry challenges the 2007 Ryder Scott report which had put the gas reserves at 12 years.
Percy said if the industry was to be fully explored "Government needs to be fast and flexible and listen". He said if the country was to derive the maximum benefit from the industry "Government needs to get the fiscal and legal regime right by developing small field policies and a new study on the Deep Water regime".

Speaking on the competitiveness of the energy sector, Percy said at present the industry employs few unskilled people.
"The result is that the resources and wealth passes through a few hands and is therefore susceptible to misdirection." He said high tax take provided no incentive to develop the non-oil economies and wealth and "when commodity price volatility hits, it torpedoes the country and affects the poor worst".

The future of the energy industry was not the only topic discussed by Percy. He said the Chamber has expressed its concern about crime and other matters affecting the country.
"It is no secret that we are all concerned about our crime, inflation, corruption, traffic congestion, racial tension and political stewardship."

Motilal said Trinidad was in a period of growth with energy being the driving force of the economy, but he regretted that "outside of Port of Spain and Wallerfield development has significantly lagged our expectations".
He referred to the San Fernando to Point Fortin and San Fernando to Mayaro highways and the Union Estate which was still awaiting development of its first major plant.

Source / Trinidad Express
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