Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry Of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) notes with deep concern the statements made in Parliament during his Budget Debate yesterday (September 15 2014) with respect to the Point Lisas Energy Association (PLEA).
As such the MEEA wishes to state the following:
1) In the period 2008 to 2010 there was an acute collapse in investment in the upstream energy sector which has created the issues that are manifesting themselves today.
2) In the aftermath of the BP Macando Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, BP took the decision to carry out required maintenance at all of its local facilities resulting in the subsequent shutdown of platforms for maintenance.
3) BG has also undertaken an aggressive maintenance programme of its facilities in Trinidad and Tobago both in the North and East Coasts. This includes critical maintenance work on its platforms as well as preparatory work for the connection of the Starfish field.
During the periods that the upstream companies were engaged in maintenance there would have been a shortfall in gas supply to the NGC which in turn would have affected the supply to its downstream clients. It should be noted that neither the MEEA nor the NGC are producers of natural gas.
The MEEA is fully aware of the issues within the sector particularly as it relates to the gas curtailments to the downstream sector and as such within the last three years the MEEA has intervened to ensure that the impact on Point Lisas was mitigated. Had the MEEA not done this the impact would have been much worse.
The MEEA has intervened by having numerous coordination meetings among gas producers, consumers including Atlantic LNG and the NGC. At these meetings the MEEA sought to minimize the impact of gas supply shortfalls to the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate customers by adjusting the timing of turnaround activities of the upstream and downstream parties. During these meetings PLEA has always been well represented.
The MEEA is deeply disappointed that members of PLEA would seek to take this matter to the political arena as there have been constant and continuous collaboration in good faith among the MEEA, PLEA, Atlantic, NGC, BP and BG to mitigate the impact of these curtailments. This matter and the way it has been dealt with in Parliament will only serve to severely damage the reputation of Trinidad and Tobago internationally.