Atlantic LNG restructuring, part of BP, Shell talks

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

ENERGY TALKS: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, background right, and Energy Minister Stuart Young, background left, speak with senior Shell executives at their offices in The Hague, Netherlands last Friday. FILE PHOTO – Paco van Leeuwen

A RESTRUCTURING of Atlantic LNG formed part of high-level talks the Prime Minister and the Energy Minister had recently in Europe with executives of global energy giants BP and Shell.

This was confirmed by Dr Rowley on Monday.

He said following the discussions, he is optimistic that when the terms of the arrangement are finalised soon, TT would benefit from the negotiations.

He said as part of the restructuring, the government together with stakeholders BP and Shell would seek to introduce a new shareholding arrangement where TT would own shareholding across the three trains of the four LNG plants locally.

Rowley said another key success of the visit was to better benefit from increased LNG prices in Asia and Europe.

Referring to the Henry Hub gas pricing structure, Rowley said under this pricing structure, TT is paid a certain amount while LNG was sold at higher prices elsewhere, but he noted that recent changes in the arrangement allowed TT to benefit from other prices globally.

“I can tell you that our teams led by minister (Stuart) Young, we have relentlessly pursued this and the new arrangements were such that we were not bound only by Henry Hub, but we received benefits based on references to the European price and the Asian price; so the three baskets – Asia, Europe and Henry Hub – they formed the basis on which we now extract our benefits.

“That would account to some of the significant revenues that we have reported and that we will report going forward, we changed the formula by which the proceeds are portioned in energy sales, that has been a very significant, far-reaching success of this government and it has resulted in its significant revenue flows into Trinidad and Tobago.”

LEE UNIMPRESSED

However, when contacted for comment, Pointe-a-Pierre MP, David Lee, said he was not impressed that enough is being done to secure TT’s energy interests. He accused the government of failing to nurture the development in the energy sector.

“After seven years, where the energy sector has not had a single year of growth, and oil as well as gas production have fallen to its lowest in 19 years, this prime minister is now trying to position the TT energy sector.

“What has his government done in the past seven years? Zero!

“Lack of proper incentives for the past seven years. Failed deep and shallow bid rounds, all under this present government,” Lee said.

Managing director of Petroindustrial USA, Randall Mohammed, said there are several considerations energy companies make or examine before deciding to invest in a country.

“The bottom line is, oil companies assess the world map looking for the best ways to optimise their capital and earnings,” Mohammed said.

“For Trinidad and Tobago, our government must sell the country as a good investment. Beyond the fiscal regime, multinationals would assess such things as ease of doing business, availability of skilled human resources, regulations and security.”