PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley leaves Trinidad on Sunday for visits to Europe and North America where he is expected to sign a new agreement with the oil company, Shell.
Meeting major oil companies
Rowley, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday, said that during the 10-day trip he would be heading a government delegation to the headquarters of the major oil companies operating here.
He said he had been invited to Holland for talks with Shell and would also be visiting London for discussions with BP Oil Corporation. He said while in London he would also be meeting with Trinidad and Tobago nationals.
Rowley said his visit to Texas in the United States would allow the delegation to meet Shell’s technical teams.
Rowley reminded reporters that his administration had faced “challenging negotiations” with all contributors to oil and gas to the economy especially as some contracts, including long-term contracts, had come to an end.
He said it was decided that both government and the companies would establish an empowered negotiation team who can speak for each interest and authorized to make decisions.
“So, we’ve had that going on for quite some time and we are not in a position to tell you the final outcome of that because there are still some minor points to be tied up. But we are at a stage now where I think we have concluded those negotiations and I dare say satisfactorily,” he said, adding that the visit to Holland would allow for Trinidad and Tobago to sign an agreement with Shell from the outcome of negotiations as Cabinet has just approved the outcome.
Asked about the three bids out of six received for the shallow-water bid round this week, and all from one bidder – a BPTT/Shell consortium– Rowley said “there has been some combining of effort in our area.” He said initially BP was off the east coast and then, when BP got involved with BHP, BHP became the major partner on the east coast with BP as junior partner. He noted BP was now focusing on the southern basin while Shell has consolidated and become the major player.
“Now with the bid round where before you would have Shell looking for its own acreage and BP looking for its own acreage but they aren’t enemies. They’re in the same business,” he told reporters, adding the companies now talk to one another.
“Which is a good thing for Trinidad and Tobago, we get the best of both companies. And some acreage was taken up and are focused on that side of it,” he said.