(Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Sean Douglas, 19.Jul.2018) – BHP Billiton’s new gas-find 200 kilometres off the Mayaro coast is due to tax-breaks for exploration given by the former UNC government, Opposition spokesman on energy, David Lee, said in a statement on Thursday.
He attributed the find to the “innovation, tremendous development and effective management” in the energy sector under the Kamla Persad Bissessar led government.
Lee said in 2012, BHP had won the relevant block (known as TTDAA 5) in a competitive bid round process. “These deep water bid rounds have been described as the most successful in our nation’s history given the level of competition which saw 12 of the world’s top oil and gas companies compete against each other to search for hydrocarbons in Trinidad and Tobago’s deepwater.
He said before 2012 past administrations had failed to secure any deepwater exploration and discovery of stranded natural gas.
“But thanks to the marketing efforts and significant steps such as the reprocessing of seismic data by the last administration today our energy sector, our economy and citizens can benefit from these discoveries. “What made these explorations a reality, explorations which today are no doubt aiding the economy’s turn around due to increase natural-gas discovery, was the implementation of key fiscal incentives.”
Lee said the Goverment had criticised these incentives, yet these were the driving factor that enabled oil/gas companies to make the capital investment necessary to facilitate such projects. He urged people to recall that this turnaround was due to the People’s Partnership’s hard work, and not be fooled by the Government trying to take credit.