Trinidad announces new fiscal regime for oil and gas drillers

Jan 26, 2010 01:00 AM

After more than a year of waiting, heads of oil and gas exploration companies may be able to breathe easier as Minister of Energy Conrad Enill announced that revised fiscal terms for exploration were complete and delivered to them.
Speaking at the launch of the Energy Conference Trinidad and Tobago 2010, Enill responded to commentators who said the State was stalling with the new energy fiscal regime.

He said: "When the announcement to undertake this review was made in January 2008, the economic and financial climate substantially differed from what it is today." By the time the initial fiscal proposals were presented to the energy bosses, market forces had changed drastically.
"The world economy faced a major financial upheaval," said Enill.

He said that the ministry was forced to go back to the drawing board and take a second look at the contractual agreements the country could offer oil and gas companies which were coming into Trinidad and Tobago. Arrangements which indicate how much the State will collect from the concessionary (tax/royalty) arrangements with these companies had to be reworked, he said.
Enill also rejected the idea that carbon emissions should be measured on a per capita basis.

Using these calculations, Trinidad and Tobago is ranked within the top ten carbon-emitting countries of the world.
Enill told international and local delegates at the conference: "There is an argument about measuring carbon emissions on a per capita basis and using this as a yardstick to determine who should take the greater action and bear the costs to bring the climate change threat under control. This, I wish to say very clearly, is something Trinidad and Tobago completely rejects."

He quoted statistics from the organisation Carbon Monitoring for Action which showed that Asia, North America and Europe accounted for more than 10.7 bn tons of carbon emissions annually.
"The rest of the world (inclusive of the Caribbean) accounts for just about 700 mm tpy."

Trinidad and Tobago, unlike many other countries, produces none of its electricity from coal, the use of which scientists have said is a major contributor to global warming, he said.
Enill said: "By comparison the US produces 49 % of its electricity from coal, the UK 33 %, India over 70 % and China over 75 %."

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