There will be new licenses coming for the country’s service stations, fuel wholesalers and those who transport fuel in this country.
Energy and Energy Affairs Minister, Kevin Ramnarine told attendees to the celebratory luncheon to mark the signing of a National Oil Contingency Plan that the Ministry is in a restructuring mode in order to improve its regulation of the sector. The signing was held at the Petrotrin Staff Club in Pointe-a-Pierre.
He added that there will soon be stronger regulations in the fuel sector with new and modern licenses for service statons, retail and distribution of fuel as well as for the wholesalers in the sector to ensure that safety was key.
The Minister stressed that these new licenses would put a lot of emphasis on safety.
The Minister also used the opportunity to predict a better year in 2014 for the natural gas sector. He noted that with the major maintenance of BP and BG’s platforms being behind us in September this year and in 2012 and with only a couple of small maintenance interventions scheduled for next year 2013 will be a positive year for natural gas production.
He noted that there was a lot more activity scheduled for 2014 with the exploration of the six blocks that was awarded in last year’s Deepwater Bid Round, the fact that there will be eight wells active in the country’s waters by the end of the year whereas there was only one in 2012.
The Energy Minister noted that after five years of decline in the production of oil “we have arrested the decline in production. There was a serious decline in production. We have bottomed out and we have arrested the decline in production.”
The Minister also signaled to the national oil company, Petrotrin that the company needs to become more productive and competitive.
Speaking to members of the media after the signing, Minister Ramnarine noted that Petrotrin currently purchases 60 percent of the oil that it refines at the Pointe-a-Pierre Oil Refinery with the other 40 percent being local oil. He said that that has to change and the company needs to produce more oil so that that ratio will change.
“The company has to become more competitive, the company has to become more productive but I say that we will not touch any expenditure that affects safety and the environment. We cannot compromise safety and our protection of the environment,” Minister Ramnarine stressed.