Guyana can learn from Trinidad’s experiences in oil and gas – PM Rowley

─ international market allowed Trinidad’s oil and gas sector to grow

─ Trinidad has earned its reputation as one of the largest producers of refined products

DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 21, 2018

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley, during his recent State Visit, said as one of the oldest oil producers, his country has a wealth of experience from which Guyana can learn as it embarks on petroleum production come 2020.

“Whatever our experience has been good, bad or indifferent it will do Guyana well to know what that experience is even if it is not taken as advice,” he said during a press conference following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for energy cooperation on September 19 at State House.

Speaking about his country’s development in the oil and gas sector, PM Rowley refuted suggestions that the country is not that well off.

“Trinidad and Tobago is in no state. Trinidad and Tobago, as a country, has done well for itself and we have done so largely on the back of the hydrocarbon business,” PM Rowley clarified.

According to him, the hydrocarbon sector has benefitted the twin-island Republic significantly over the years. The vision, he explained, was to produce oil for the market and over time the country became one of the largest producers of refined products in the British empire.

The international market, the Prime Minister said, allowed that country to prosper with much of the reserves buttressing the country during what he described as a difficult period.

The hydrocarbon sector is responsible for the developments in the education, infrastructure, telecommunications and other sectors, he pointed out.

PM Rowley drew attention to Trinidad and Tobago’s exploration activities and its movement of interest in the hydrocarbon sector from oil onshore to offshore, as well as gas offshore and in the deep water.

“We are now more engaged as ever or more so in the hydrocarbon sector than we were 100 years ago,” he noted.

With respect to contracts, Rowley said as a small country participating in a big industry, it respects the sanctity of contracts while not accepting that contracts are “written in stone.”

He added that once there is goodwill between or among the parties to the contract, the possibility for revisiting the terms exists, to ensure that there is a balance.

“That is the basis with which we have approached multinationals and we do so out of respect and we do so out of competence,” the Prime Minister stated. He went on to explain that his country has no hesitancy in raising concerns with the performance of some contracts.

PM Rowley reminded that Guyana has a friend in Trinidad from which it can get advice if needed.

Stacy Carmichael

Image: Keno George

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