Protests, Red Tape Cause Loss Of Major Oil Investment

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine says while BPTT’s decision to not build its Angelin platform in La Brea is disappointing, it should come as no surprise. He contends the country, the people of La Brea as well as many families, contractors and suppliers have lost out as a result.

Ramnarine said there were two issues which led Trinidad and Tobago to this point.

“Firstly, the energy sector’s ability to deliver projects has been severely impacted by industrial relations unrest and increasing red tape.

Angelin’s predecessor, the BP Juniper platform, endured no end of stoppages and protests. The (Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union) played a major role in these events. This led to schedule slippage. As a result of the loss of time on Juniper, BP decided to move the jacket component to Texas in mid-2015. This was done to preserve the project timeline. The topside was completed in La Brea in January 2017,” Ramnarine pointed out.

The other issue, he said, related to the length of time it took to negotiate a new BP/National Gas Company contract.

“We are told that this is nearing completion. This should have been completed in December 2016 if the target of first gas from Angelin was to be achieved (January 2019). It takes two years to develop a project like Angelin. The loss of time (four months and counting) means that BP has to compress its timelines and that means building the platform where it can be completed faster,” he said in an April 9 statement.