The announcement by BHP Billiton two days ago, that it had found new gas about two hundred Kilometres (200 Km) off the east coast of Mayaro, is testimony to the significant innovation, tremendous development and effective management that occured within the energy sector during the tenure of the Kamla Persad Bissessar led government.
It is important to note that in 2012 BHP Billiton won the TTDAA 5 block in a competitive bid round process which formed part of the last administration’s Deep water exploration bid rounds. These Deep water bid rounds have been described as the most successful in our nation’s history given the level of competition which saw twelve of the world’s top oil and gas companies compete against each other to search for hydrocarbons in Trinidad and Tobago’s deepwater. Before 2012 previous administrations had failed to secure any proper form of 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.
Our nation must also be cognisant of the fact that 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.
These fiscal incentives, that were instituted by the last administration and have been heavily criticized by this present government were the driving factor which enabled these companies to make the capital investment necessary to facilitate such projects. Therefore, today when we hear the Government and Minister of Finance boast about the turnaround of the energy sector, the manufacturing sector and the economy, as a nation we must not be fooled as this turnaround is due solely to the increased discovery and production of natural gas which has been as a result of the work of the Peoples Partnership.
Before the Minister claims these occurrences as PNM successes in his upcoming budget contribution it is critical that our citizens understand that all of these programs were part of an innovative package of development by the Kamla Persad Bissessar led government to secure our energy resources while maximizing returns for our nation as is happening presently.