Petrotrin Concerned: Ramnarine and Seepersad-Bachan

(Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Sasha Harrinanan, 29.Aug.2018) — Former energy ministers Kevin Ramnarine and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, both of whom served under the previous administration, are asking if Petrotrin’s board considered the wider impact of closing its refinery.

Ramnarine, in a statement after the board’s announcement yesterday, said “the closure of the refinery has to be considered against the impact it has on the economy, (including) the impact on hundreds of contractors and energy service companies who also employ thousands of people. There is the impact on the fence-line communities of Marabella, Vistabella, Gasparillo and San Fernando.”

Seepersad-Bachan, speaking with Newsday, asked if Petrotrin had “considered the possibility of other job cuts related to the refinery’s closure. What about all the other small contractors and spin-off service operations that support Petrotrin’s refinery at this point in time?” Expressing concern about how meaningful planned consultations can be in such a relatively short period – the refinery’s operations will start being phased out from October 1 – the Congress of the People (COP) political leader said her party will soon hold a series of “national conversations” on the matter.

Ramnarine highlighted the supply impact locally and regionally of the impending closure.

About 20 per cent of the refinery’s output is consumed locally. It is TT’s “sole source of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel et cetera. If we don’t have an operational refinery, we will of course have to import fuel.

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BHP’s Bongos 2 Well Encounters Hydrocarbons

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 22.Aug.2018) – The well encountered hydrocarbons in Block TTDAA 14.

Trinidad and Tobago’s former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine revealed the details in a tweet.

“I am encouraged by the results of the T&T deepwater campaign. Just received the news that BHP’s 4th well (Bongos 2) encountered hydrocarbons in Block TTDAA 14 for which a production-sharing contract was awarded to BHP in 2012,” wrote Ramnarine, who now works as a Strategic Energy Advisor.

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Trinidad Energy Infrastructure Unaffected by Earthquake

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 22.Aug.2018) – Energy infrastructure on the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago appears to be OK after an earthquake yesterday in Venezuela.

The August 21, 2018 earthquake hit the northern coast of Venezuela, and was felt in neighboring Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

“Buildings stood up. Industrial plants stood up. Energy infrastructure stood up. Most of the electricity supply, internet services, telecoms, water supply were uninterrupted. No lives lost. No serious injuries. Yes, we had some property damage but lots to be grateful for T&T,” wrote Strategic Energy Advisor Kevin Ramnarine, who is also the Former Energy Minster of Trinidad and Tobago, in a twitter post.

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Major Petroleum Cos. Pay T&T $114.7 Bln during 2010-2016

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 20.Aug.2018) – Payments by major oil and gas companies to the government of the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago totaled $114.7 billion during 2010-2016.

That’s according to figures posted by Strategic Energy Advisor Kevin Ramnarine, who is also the Former Energy Minster of Trinidad and Tobago.

Ramnarine provided the data in a post on LinkedIn.

The payment amounts by major companies to the Trinidad and Tobago government by company follow:

1) BP, $37.1 bln

2) NGC, $32.3 bln

3) Petrotrin, $20.3 bln

4) EOG Resources, $10.6 bln

5) Shell, $8.9 bln

6) BHP, $5.5 bln

TOTAL $114.7 bln

Sources: Various @TTEITI Secretariat, Anthony Wilson and Trinidad Express Newspapers

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Guyana to Become 5th Largest Oil Producer in LAC Region

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 15.Aug.2018) – If all goes off as planned, by 2025, Guyana will be the 5th largest oil producer in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Source: Trading Economics

That’s according to an analysis of data posted by Trading Economics, and extrapolation of estimates of Guyana’s future oil production, as announced by Kevin Ramnarine, the former Energy Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Oil production in Guyana is expected to come online at 120,000 barrels per day in 2020 and peak at 750,000 barrels per day by 2025, according to Exxon,” said Ramnarine, now an international petroleum consultant, during a webinar with Guyana’s Minister of Finance, the Honorable Winston Jordan and hosted by Caribbean Economist Marla Dukharan.

Considering initial production of 120,000 barrels per day in 2020, Guyana will first occupy the spot as the 7th largest oil producer in the LAC region, assuming no drastic changes in the other countries’ production profiles over the next couple of years.

However, in the process, by the time peak production is reached five years latter, Guyana will have surpassed OPEC producer Ecuador, assuming production in that country, as well as others, doesn’t experience a drastic decline, as has been the case in Venezuela in recent years.

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Webinar Panelist Discuss All Things Guyana

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 15.Aug.2018) – The three promised to return to discuss all things Guyana again in six months as the small South American country eyes first oil in 2020.

A three person panel — comprised of Guyana’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Winston Jordan, Trinidad and Tobago’s Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, and hosted by Caribbean Economist Marla Dukharan — discussed issues related to Guyana included but not limited to oil, economics, finance, supply issues, infrastructure, and migration, among others (watch the full video below).

What follows are brief highlights as posted during the webinar under the Twitter hashtag #LatAmNRG:

From Kevin Ramnarine …

— “In Guyana, we have moved from 1 to 8 discoveries,” Ramnarine says. He continued: “With an 80% success rate, only 2 wells have been dry.”

— “The whole world is talking about Guyana,” Ramnarine says.

— “Oil production in Guyana is expected to come online at 120,000 barrels per day d in 2020 and peak at 750,000 barrels per day by 2025, according to Exxon,” Ramnarine says.

— “In the early years, Exxon will likely recover Capex. Then, by 2025 we could see an exponential rise in revenues [in Guyana],” Ramnarine says.

— “An infrastructure deficit in Guyana has slowed development in the interior of the country,” Ramnarine says.

— “You want a competitive oil and gas sector that supports that sector,” Ramnarine says.

— “The private sector should take the lead to develop [Guyana’s] infrastructure,” Ramnarine says.

From Winston Jordan …

— “ExxonMobil has put Guyana on the map,” Jordan says.

— “We see ourselves as the Dubai of the Caribbean,” Jordan says.

— “Guyana has infrastructure and human capital resources deficits,” Jordan says.

— “The Guyana tax system is expected to become more efficient in the future,” Jordan says.

— “We have a lot of challenges, but none are insurmountable,” Jordan says.

— “Guyana is putting together a migration policy to give certain benefits to those wanting to return home,” Jordan says.

— “Guyana will seek a loan with the World Bank to assist in the migration process,” Jordan says.

— “There is no definite word yet about a future refinery in Guyana,” Jordan says.

(With special assistance from Melissa Marchand, who moderated the Q&A session).

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Whither Guyana?

(Energy Analytics Institute, Pietro D. Pitts, 14.Aug.2018) – On a per capita basis, Guyana is already probably the most resource-rich country on the planet, but is still the poorest English-speaking country, and the 2nd poorest overall after Haiti, writes an Caribbean region economist.

As the size of oil discoveries in Guyana begin to suffer from diminishing marginal stock-value, attention is shifting to the billion-dollar question – will Guyana somehow leapfrog itself into the region’s shiny new Norway, or devolve further into resource-cursed-istan? That’s the question posed by Caribbean Economist Marla Dukharan in her August “Caribbean Monthly Economic Report.”

“Like true West Indian cricket fans, we pray despite formidable odds for Guyana’s success but we smell the molasses-like bittersweet stickiness of corruption and all its concomitant dysfunctionality,” she writes.

Guyana’s Oil Outlook: The Nor-way or the Next-Door-Neighbour-way?

To this end, Dukharan along with the Honourable Winston Jordan, Guyana’s Minister of Finance, and Kevin Ramnarine, the Former Minister of Energy in T&T, plan to discuss the oil outlook for South America’s Guyana in a webinar on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

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Guyana Outlook: The Nor-way or the Next-Door-Neighbour-Way?

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 10.Aug.2018) – Regional experts plan to discuss the oil outlook for South America’s Guyana.

Caribbean Economist Marla Dukharan will be joined by Guyana’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Winston Jordan, and the Former Minister of Energy in T&T, Kevin Ramnarine, to discuss the following:

— The energy sector of Guyana, and the outlook

— Socio-economic implications of this energy boom –

— How Guyana can avoid the Resource Curse

— Challenges and risks to getting it right

— Q&A

When: Wednesday, 15 August 2018 1:00 – 2:00 PM CDT

Register here https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4397649980045985026

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Trinidad’s 21st Century Gas Production

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 23.Jul.2018) – It’s said a picture paints a thousand words. This one paints 8.9 billion.

From 1908 to 2017, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) has produced 8.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), announced Strategic Advisor Kevin Ramnarine in a post on LinkedIn. “Most of that production (58.6%) is natural gas. Of all the natural gas ever produced by T&T, 71% has been produced in the first 17 years of the 21st century,” wrote Ramnarine, the former Energy Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

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National Oil Co for Guyana Would Be Disaster

(Stabroek News, 3.Jun.2018) – The creation of a National Oil Company (NOC) will be “a disaster” for this country warns former Government Advisor on Petroleum, Dr. Jan Mangal who says that Guyana should learn from the experiences of sister Caribbean countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

However, the government says that it has been advised by a number of international organizations, including Chatham House of the UK, that a NOC would be beneficial to this country.

“Here we go again with national oil companies in the Caribbean. Both Petrotrin (Trinidad) and Petrojam (Jamaica) are in the news because of corruption,” Mangal said as he urged Guyanese to not support a call for the establishment of one here.

“Guyanese: Please remember these two nations have much larger and better run economies than ours, and much stronger institutions. Hence imagine what will happen in Guyana, with our weaker capacity, if elements in our government and their private sector cohorts are allowed to create a national oil company with access to our oil. It will be a disaster,” he added, pointing to recent scandals in Jamaica and neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago.

Recently, Jamaica’s Petrojam, which supplies a range of domestic, transportation and industrial petroleum products in that country, was hit with a number of allegations of corruption and victimisation. It saw questions surrounding the use of public funds snowballing in recent weeks during which there has been an outcry for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to act, the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper has reported.

Over in Trinidad and Tobago, a forensic audit report by the Canada-based Kroll Consulting Canada found that the state-owned Petrotrin paid a company, A&V, for oil produced between January and June of 2017, which it did not receive. In September, Petrotrin announced that it had launched an investigation into the reports of inconsistencies in the volumes reported from its exploration and production fields.

Mangal, whose contract as an Advisor to President David Granger ended in March of this year, has said that he will, “Outline the mechanism used by some oil companies and their local friends (in government and in the private sector) to defraud needy people in countries around the world, like in Guyana.”

But government says that although the establishment of a NOC is not in its immediate plans, there will be one formed sometime in the future and that it has been advised by several international organizations that it was the way to go.

“Government has been advised by several international organizations, foremost amongst which is Chatham House though Dr. Valerie Marcel, that the NOC is the direction we would be headed. We believe we will get there one day but it is not a matter that is on our list of immediate,” Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman told Stabroek News when contacted.

Further, he added, “The rationale for a NOC is always that countries get a greater share of the revenue and at the same time gain valuable experience. We are keeping the idea alive but there is no discussion when.”

Other experts have also said that they believe that an NOC, if properly equipped with needed regulations and insulated from politics, would serve beneficially to the people of Guyana.

“State controlled oil major, is an absolute must! And the sooner, the better. NOCs control approximately 75% of the world’s oil market and 90% of the world’s oil reserves, evidence that having NOCs have become a normalcy. The advantages of an NOC are unlimited.  In recent years, NOCs have developed global reach and influence,” a former United States Department of Energy Manager, Dr. Vincent Adams had told this newspaper, in an interview earlier this year.

“With the proper contract arrangement with the NOC representing  the Government’s interest, the arrangement allows for personnel from the NOC working alongside their IOC counterparts and `learning by doing’, ultimately acquiring the ability to operate both within its own jurisdiction and abroad; thus, bringing revenues back to their home countries,” he added.

Vehicle

Most significantly, Adams believes, is that NOCs provide a vehicle for state participation and the ability to drive greater local content and capacity building in terms of directing the purchase of local goods and services. “The lessons learned from bauxite was that we were not ready for nationalization, since we failed to build the capacity to manage on our own upon nationalization. An NOC will give us that capability and strengthen our position in negotiations,” he asserted.

Using his country’s experience as a model, former Minister of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Ramnarine had also this year advised on an NOC but stressed that it must be insulated from political interference.

“This company’s board and management must be insulated from politics as is the case with Statoil (Norway) because if it is not, you will get a call to hire somebody’s nephew,” Ramnarine said.

“I would recommend that whatever state companies you form, it doesn’t have to be all, put part of the equity on the stock exchange,” he added.

He pointed to Norway’s Statoil and Russia’s Gazprom among other companies saying that Guyana can earn needed revenue through the establishment of such companies.

Pointing to the detriment of a state company influenced by politicians, as witnessed in his home country, he emphasized that before such a decision be taken here the companies must be removed from politics. “There is also the whole issue of political influence in state enterprises in Trinidad. When we look at the Norwegian company Statoil, their Board of Directors are independent, and for example the workers of Statoil get to vote on who should be a director…you begin to dilute the political influence in the company,” he posited.

The former People’s Partnership Energy Minister recommended that Guyana set up three state-owned companies. “I am going to recommend that Guyana sets up three state enterprises, one to participate in the upstream, alongside with companies like Exxon, one to focus on infrastructural development and one to focus on marketing of products… our new production-sharing contracts in Trinidad allow the ministry to market their own hydrocarbons,” he said.

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Regional Deepwater Industry in Southern Caribbean

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 7.Jun.2018) – Kevin Ramnarine discusses the regional deep-water industry in the southern Caribbean during a technical speech in Trinidad on the emerging regional deep-water province of Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, which was hosted by the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago and streamed live.

Ramnarine Talks About Southern Caribbean Deepwater Industry

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 31.May.2018) – Former Trinidad and Tobago Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine will speak in Port of Spain about the regional deepwater industry in the Southern Caribbean.

An abstract from his technical talk about the regional deepwater industry in the Southern Caribbean, and the case of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad and Tobago, follows:

“The 2015 discovery by ExxonMobil of oil in Guyana’s Stabroek Block, the discovery of natural gas by BHP Billiton in Trinidad and Tobago’s Block TTDAA 5 in 2017 and ongoing exploration in both countries and in Suriname have set the stage for a major deepwater oil industry in the Southern Caribbean which could potentially extend to Barbados. Such an industry will have a transformative effect on the practice of geoscience and all aspects of petroleum engineering. In addition, deepwater oil and natural gas commercialization require different skills and technologies different to what obtains on the shallow and average depth waters of continental shelf.”

For more details contact The Geological Society of Trinidad & Tobago at thegstt@gmail.com
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Trinidad – Upstream Activity Snapshot in 2018

(Kevin Ramnarine, Strategic Energy Adviser). Former Minister of Energy. Business School Lecturer. International Speaker, 3.Jan.2018) – This is a summary of upstream activity for Trinidad and Tobago in 2018.

1) Rowan will have 4 rigs drilling in 2018. By June 2018 all four will be working simultaneously. Two of these will be with BP, one with EOG and one with Shell. Good luck Rowan.

2) BHP Billiton resumes exploration drilling in Deepwater using the Transocean Invictus. This drilling is related to Production Sharing Contracts signed between 2013 and 2014. A lot of fingers are crossed.

3) Shell does the Starfish Infill Drilling (SID) project, which sees Shell try to tap the reserves of Starfish. They are using a Mearesk Semi Submersible for this. Good luck Shell.

4) DeNovo will have first gas from the Iguana field by Q2 2018. This will make DeNovo, Trinidad’s fifth natural gas supplier. Positive news indeed.

5) BP will be drilling wells for the Angelin project for which first gas is Q1 2019. Sadly we lost the platform in 2017 but the project is on schedule. Angelin became more prospective after the 3D seismic Ocean Botton Cable (OBC) survey of 2012 to 2013.

6) The economy will benefit from a full year of BP Juniper production and this will cause positive economic growth for the first time in 3 years. Congrats to all involved in this very historic project.

7) Work will start on the fabrication of the BP Cassia C compression platform. Hopefully some of this will be done at La Brea.

8) BP will be doing infill drilling on Cannonball and Cashima in 2018.

9) Lease Operators Limited (LOL) will be drilling exploration wells in their Rio Claro Land Block. That block was awarded in 2014. We expect at least 2 exploration wells in 2018 in this block. Maybe we will have an oil discovery on land for the first time since Carapal Ridge (many years ago).

Editor’s Note: Kevin Ramnarine is a strategic energy adviser and the former Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Energy. He is also a business school lecturer and international speaker.

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T&T Energy Ministry Supports Expansion into Guyana

(Piero Stewart, Special for Energy Now, 1.Jun.2015) – Trinidad and Tobago will seek to capitalise on energy projects in the region as part of broader push outside of the country’s borders, and especially into Guyana, which has recently announced a significant offshore oil discovery.

Oil field service companies from Trinidad and Tobago are already dominant players in Suriname and will be interested in conducting work in Guyana, said Trinidad and Tobago Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine during an interview June 13 in Port-of-Spain.

“There is a role, therefore, for us to have our energy service companies enter the Guyanese frontier energy economy, and this is something we support.”

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd., an affiliate of Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil, announced in late May that the Liza-1 well it had drilled offshore Guyana in the Stabroek block had discovered more than 295 feet of oil pay.

Since the announcement, already-tense relations between the governments of Venezuela and Guyana flared up after the former redrew its maritime border to include the Stabroek discovery.

Earlier this year, Trinidad’s prime minister announced that the country would be be working with the IADB to form an Energy Fund that would help stakeholders to capitalise on energy projects in the region, and specifically those related to power and regasification, among other sectors.

“So that is going to be a major policy imperative for the next five years,” said Ramnarine.

Trinidad and Tobago, home to Atlantic LNG, the first LNG export facility in Latin America, is looking to expand its service and experience into the region.

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Venezuela, Trinidad Meet Over Border Gas

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 26.Aug.2013) – Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez met with his counterpart from Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Ramnarine in Caracas to discuss a development plan for natural gas fields that straddle the maritime borders of their countries.

The ministers announced plans to develop the Manatee-Loran gas discoveries offshore in the cross-border Block 6d (Trinidad) and Block 2 (Venezuela).

The blocks contain estimated gas reserves of 10 Tcf, Ramirez said. Under a Framework Treaty and Unitization Agreement, Venezuela and Trinidad will assume interests of 73.06% and 26.94%, respectively, in developments, Ramirez said.

PDVSA and Chevron will likely develop the fields from the Venezuelan side of the maritime border, Ramirez said. Additionally, gas from the developments on the Venezuelan side will be shipped via a pipeline to Güiria and destined for export to Colombia.

Editor’s Note:

Venezuela and Trinidad signed a Unification Agreement in March 2007. Other fields that straddle Venezuela and Trinidad maritime borders include Kapok-Dorado (Block 1), Manakin-Cocuina (Block 4).

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