The fallen oil price is currently the hottest topic globally; the main reasons for this ranging from the production of shale oil in the United States to the geopolitical aspects such as price wars between OPEC and other larger producing countries. The fact is Trinidad and Tobago is not a major player in deciding whether or not the oil price could rise or fall. We currently produce approximately eighty thousand barrels per day whereas the global production currently stands at ninety million barrels per day. Therefore, we produce less than 0.1 % of global production. The growing turbulence in the global energy sector will impact of lower oil prices on economies such as ours.
Letters being published making it appear to be the governments fault for this is very sad. It’s not wise to politicize such an important matter of national interest. The reason for this is everyone wants to know the facts and not have it clouded by false information. The Prime Minister’s adjustments in the budget are exceptional and shouldn’t be tainted to be otherwise. With a projected shortfall of approximately 7 billion dollars but a reduction in the subsidy in oil prices leaves us with a much smaller deficit than one would have expected. It is worth noting that for the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, revenue was almost the same as was budgeted. Being a gas based economy; natural gas now contributes roughly 65 percent of total energy revenue.
It doesn’t matter who is governing the country at this point; Strategic adjustments in expenditure would be necessary. What the government has actually done is continue to strengthen investor confidence in our economy, which will see us continue along a growth path even with reduction in oil prices.
Dr Paula Ramjohn