Energy Chamber: Investment dependent on fiscal regime change

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

BPTT’s Cassia C hub off the east coast of Trinidad. – Photo courtesy bpTT

The Energy Chamber of TT and oil and gas operators said future investment is reliant on changes to the fiscal regime still being considered by the Energy Ministry and Ministry of Finance.

In a release issued after its Upstream Operators Forum on Thursday, the chamber said the forum gave details of a wide range of potential activities, including new exploration and development, drilling installation of new sub-sea infrastructure, new onshore and offshore pipelines, new production facilities, projects to increase efficiency and reduce emissions and a wide range of maintenance and asset-integrity related projects.

Operators, however, noted that potential supply chain disruptions and long lead times for delivery meant that more than ever upstream companies needed to plan ahead.

BPTT, EOG Resources, Heritage Petroleum, Shell TT, Trinity Exploration & Production, Touchstone Exploration and Woodside Energy were among the presenters.

In August, the Energy Chamber called for an immediate review of the fiscal terms for energy companies, in order to make TT more competitive in the energy investment markets.

It said with the continued push for net-zero by 2050, the window for investment in gas and especially in crude oil production is narrowing, and oil and gas companies are now very discerning with how they share their capital even with the current high energy prices.

On Tuesday, Dr Thackwray Driver, the chamber’s CEO, on a local morning show said the chamber is interested in seeing what taxation measures would be announced in the budget on Monday. He once again made the point that changes in the tax regime would make the country more attractive to investors in the energy sector.

“There is an understanding of what the issues are and what is needed to change but what we need to see now is the action to make the changes,” Driver said. “There have been a lot of announcements in the past about intentions for action but those things have to be carried through.”

In the last budget, Finance Minister Colm Imbert promised that there would be an extensive review of the tax regime for energy companies. He said the review would have been completed by the first quarter of this year but this was not done.

The Prime Minister visited the parent offices of several energy companies in Europe for discussions to secure investment committments in TT.