Imbert: ALNG restructuring details can’t be laid in Parliament

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Atlantic LNG, Point Fortin. FILE PHOTO/JEFF K MAYERS –

ACTING energy minister Colm Imbert has said that licences relating to the restructuring of Atlantic LNG cannot be laid in Parliament.

He made this comment in response to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on April 29.

“These licences contain sensitive, operational, trade and financial information that cannot be publicly disclosed due to the commercial and global nature of the LNG business.

Imbert told senators, “As a consequence, there is included in the licences, as was the case in all licences issued under the (former) UNC government, a provision that requires the terms of the licences to be kept confidential.”

He said,”Therefore the Government is unable to acede to the request to have the licences laid in Parliament.”

Imbert added, “The Opposition is well aware of the fact that if it’s request were aceded to, it would immediately put the outlook of Trinidad and Tobago in breach of contract and make our country a very unattractive location to do business.”

Government agreed with the shareholders of Atlantic LNG, BP and Shell to a restructuring of the company last December.

The new arrangements has the National Gas Compnay (NGC) now having a ten per cent share in ALNG trains one, two, three and four.

Previously the NGC only had shareholding of ten and 11.2 per cent in trains one and four respectively.

The restructured ALNG also allows for third party gas, gas not supplied by the company’s shareholders, to be processed at the plant.

In response to another question from Mark, Imbert said there was a public register at the ministry’s website that contains the licences issued to oil and gas producers, suppliers and contractors.

He added that those licences would be published in the TT Gazette.

Imbert also said that the entities all meet the requirements in Petroleum Act with respect to maintainence of offies and the payment of taxes.