(Trinidad and Tobago News Day, Sean Douglas, 17.Apr.2019) — The Prime Minister has publicly implored prayerful citizens to pray for new deposits of oil to be found in exploratory drilling 80 miles off Trinidad’s east coast.
“Our future will be very bright if we are successful,” Dr Rowley told a meeting of the People’s National Movement at Barataria South Secondary School on Tuesday.
However, noting reports of piracy off the north coast, he lamented the former government’s cancellation of a contract by its predecessor to buy offshore patrol vessels, but said the Coast Guard will get two new vessels, now under construction, that could stay at sea for 28 days.
Rowley said he had helped push towards negotiations of a new gas price both the National Gas Company and upstream producers like BP, EOG and Shell, the latter of which had initially “downed tools” at a gas price too cheap to fund exploration in deep waters.
Rowley chided an unnamed former energy minister (Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan) for having claimed TT’s crude oil had too much sulphur content to be processed by most refineries other than the one at Pointe-a-Pierre. He said this was not so, and a recent shipment had fetched a handsome price.
“We got a price higher than the benchmark of WTI (West Texas Intermediate). It is marketable. The only problem is we are not producing enough.”