Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 4th 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, December 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnar-
ine yesterday appealed to employ-
ees of Petrotrin to recommit to
the stabilisation and growth of the
State-owned energy company.
He made the comment in the
Senate yesterday, even as the Oil-
fields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) has signalled its intention
to initiate strike action over the
company s recent statement that it
would not be able to increase
salaries or pay backpay to workers
due to a loss of $346 million in
Ramnarine added yesterday that
the company had a total debt of
While not specifically addressing
the OWTU s threat of strike action,
the minister said now was a time
for employees to work towards
building the company.
"This is not a time for acrimony
at Petrotrin. This is not a time to
break down Petrotrin but to build
up Petrotrin," he said.
Ramnarine said the way forward
for the company was to increase
its crude oil and gas production
through its own efforts as well as
from ventures, such as its lease
operatorship, farmout, incremental
production service contract (IPSC)
and joint venture programmes.
He said improved production was
expected from the Trinmar oper-
ations in the Jubilee field and the
ongoing South West Soldado proj-
Additional drilling capacity in
both Petrotrin s land and Trinmar
operations was forecast to improve
the company s production and
reserves position, he added.
"In the interim, Petrotrin must
tightly control cost. To do otherwise
would be to endanger the company.
We must not kill the goose that
laid the golden egg, " Ramnarine
told the Upper House.
"Petrotrin has tremendous
potential for increasing its oil pro-
duction and is actively pursuing
multiple initiatives in this regard.
It has started to put in place the
building blocks to achieve this
potential," he said.
Call for workers to recommit
Petrotrin total debt at $14.38b
A father of one and a Form
Four student are dead and
three others hospitalised after
the car they were travelling
in collided with a truck in
The accident was one of two
in the southland yesterday.
According to reports, around
3 pm Nicholas Phill, 25, of
Robert Hill Trace, Siparia, was
driving his Nissan B14 car
when it picked up a skid com-
ing down a hill and collided
with a truck loaded with dirt
on Robert Hill.
Phill, who lived minutes
away from the scene of the
accident, was nearly decapi-
tated by the impact and fire-
fighters had to use the jaws of
life to remove his body from
the mangled wreck.
His front seat passenger, Kai
Lewis, 16, a student of the Fyz-
abad Anglican Secondary
School, was also killed instantly.
Lewis s father was on the
scene but was too distraught
to speak to the T&T Guardian.
The truck driver, who was
not identified, along with the
two school boys who were in
the back seat of Phill s car,
which he was working as a
"PH" taxi, were taken to the
San Fernando General Hospital
Phill s father, Errol, said a
leaking WASA pipeline may be
the reason why he lost his only
"He was coming down the
hill and he pick up a skid. You
could see the truckman tried
to brakes from hitting him
but he (Nicholas) still run into
"This water on the road here
two weeks now. WASA not
doing anything about it. It
already form moss here," he
He described his son as a
loving, obedient child who
never disrespected him.
"Nicholas never steups at
me, never give me backtalk.
That boy was really the best
son," he said.
He sent out sympathy to
the family of Lewis.
"I want them to know I
grieving for my son and theirs.
I didn t get a chance to talk
to them while they was here
but I want them to know how
sorry we are for their loss."
Phill s common-law wife,
Melissa Baptiste, was incon-
solable last night as she related
the last time she saw him
alive. The couple has a two-
year-old daughter named
"Daddy supposed to be on
the bed all now, playing with
you," she wailed.
Little Shania was already
asking when her father was
coming home, Baptiste said.
She described Phill as a lov-
ing, humble man who was
working taxi to ensure his
family had enough for the
"I tell him stay home today,
he say no, he will go and
come back in time to go to
church for 6 o clock," she said.
The couple were planning to
get married next February.
2 dead, 3 in hospital after Siparia accident
In another accident
yesterday, Anthony Dennis
was killed two days before
celebrating his 29th birthday
after his car crashed along the
Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway,
Police said Dennis, a "PH"
taxi driver who lived at Eden
Street, Les Efforts West, San
Fernando, was driving his
Nissan Tiida south when the
vehicle swerved and ran into
the cable barrier near
Harmony Hall overpass
around 1.15 am.
seeing the car spin several
times before crashing into the
rail on the opposite site of the
So severe was the impact
that the rail sliced through the
driver's door, completely
severing Dennis' leg. Mon
Repos police, firefighters,
ambulance and fellow
motorists rushed to help but
he died within minutes.
Jomo Jones, a passenger in
the car, was taken to the San
Fernando General Hospital
where he was treated and
discharged. Police suspect
Dennis fell asleep.
Investigations are being done
by Cpl Heeralal.
--- With reporting by
KILLED TWO DAYS BEFORE BIRTHDAY
Melissa Baptiste, wife of accident victim Nicholas Phill, is
consoled by a relative at her Robert Hill Trace, Siparia home
yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
The minister said the company's poor
financial performance was partly due to
losses by the refining arm of the
He said that fall in Petrotrin's gross
refining margin "is a feature of a
worldwide oversupply of refinery
capacity compounded by the shale oil
revolution which has seen American
refiners benefit from cheaper crude oil
and lower natural gas prices."
He said that development had led to
the closure of some 60 refineries
worldwide in the last five years, with a
further 11 closures currently being
Ramnarine said: "In the Caribbean, two
refineries have closed in recent years. In
Europe 13 refineries have closed in the
last five years."
He said the company had cut $340
million out of its operating budget for
fiscal 2014/2015 but was still expected
to incur a loss for the period at current oil
prices and refinery margins.
Salaries and wages account for 54.5
per cent of the company's recurrent
budget, compared to the benchmark of
35-40 per cent for national oil companies
around the world, he said.
"As at December 1st 2014, the
company's total debt is $14.38 billion.
This figure is comprised of $6 billion in
short-term debt and $8.38 billion in long-
term debt. The weighted average
interest rate on total debt is 5.54 per
"The repayment figure for the long-
term loan payments for 2014 is $1.26
billion and for 2015 that figure is $1.23
billion," he added.
Despite that, the minister said
Petrotrin had never been a burden to the
State and contributed between $2 to $5
billion annually to the national coffers.
REFINING ARM HIT HARD
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