Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2015 Contents JULY 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
and opportunities in Bogota, Cartagena in
Medellin, Barranquilla and in Cali," he said.
He said there are Colombian multinationals
who want to continue to grow abroad.
He added the South American country wants
to have 200 Colombian multinational com-
panies in a decade and so far some of the
bigger brands include Colombina and Nacional
de Chocolate in the confectionary sector. In
the concrete industry there is Argos which
has invested in the Latin America. In the finan-
cial sector there is Alpina which has broken
into the US market.
"We have companies in the Dominican
Republic and in the rest of the Caribbean, so
why not T&T? We want to show T&T s busi-
ness sector that there are Colombian companies
looking to invest."
He said at the moment there are no Colom-
bian companies operating in T&T but there
are Colombian energy companies looking at
potential investments in T&T.
Colombia s economy is also similar to T&T s
as over half of its revenue is based on energy.
The petroleum and the oil and mining sectors
are responsible for 75 percent of energy rev-
enue, he said.
"Because petroleum prices are lower we
need to make up for that. Over the next few
years the Colombian government is going to
invest in infrastructure and Colombia has
planned over US$53.4 billion in investment
works like roads, ports, construction of
pipelines for the oil and gas industry, railways
and investment in the electric energy sector.
This will help the Colombian economy to grow
and make up for the loss income from the
He said 25 per cent of Colombia s economy
relies on the manufacturing sector and T&T
can learn from Colombia s example in eco-
"We have the Productivity Transformation
Programme and this speaks about the 20 sec-
tors in Colombia that we want to help develop.
We are aggressively looking for foreign investors
to come into those 20 sectors. We are also
creating the conditions so Colombia can appeal
to foreign investors to invest there.
"It is a strategic plan implemented in 2007
with the goal to be met every five years. We
have a long term vision to make Colombia
dependent on other sectors and diversify our
economy. We need to expand manufacturing
and the services sector," he said.
To a large extent the gas master plan
that the Ministry of Energy has commissioned
and I know its almost completed, will to a
great extent determine policy for gas allo-
I think we will find the solution, albeit it
might not be an immediate solution but I
think we will find the solution to some of the
problems in there.
I think to a large extent we have come to
recognise where we are in terms of our history
and present situation with respect to natural
gas and using that we will have to determine
a stretgy going forward with respect to how
we will utilize the remaining nartural gas that
Our current strategic plan, 2010 to 2015,
will expire at the end of this year. We are in
the process of developing a new strategic plan
to take us from 2015 to 2020. We are doing
rigorious analysis to determine and we are
going to address some of these issues as we
go forward. No doubt, we will have to rec-
ognize that we will have to secure what we
have in T&T.
We have to understand that NGC as a com-
pany cannot continue to be inward looking,
seeing our only place of investment as T&T
but rather we have to start moving towards
becoming a global investor so we will be able
to bring income back to the country to replace
losing income from big resources.
We have been working on that since
last year. We have engaged a major interna-
tional consulting organisation who have been
working with us. They have done this with
many of the multinationals in the past and
have the experience, the knowlege and are
working with us to develop these plans. We
are training a core group opf locals so that
they will be able to take up this work and
move forward. That has been happening since
September last year.
If I look at oil production in the 1980s,
we would have been doing 250,000 barrels
per day. Despite our best efforts, we are prob-
ably doing 80,000 barrels per day now. The
fact of the matter is hydrocarbon resources
are not renewable. Once we begin extracting
from the ground, we will eventually run out.
These resources were developed over millions
of years and they will not be replaced in a
short time. We cannot change that.
We are attempting to find resouerces that
may be exist there that we may not have been
able to discover. With improved technology,
areas which we searched before, we are going
back to search again, which we can do with
We also have unexplored areas which the
Ministry of Energy in last couple years has
been aggressively marketing and licensing out
unexplored blocks, so we will be able to find
new resorces in there. The fact is the major
multinational companies involved in explo-
ration and production,will not bid for these
blocks and spend money on these blocks
unless there is a realistic chance of getting oil
There was a period in time between 2005
and 2010 when there was very little exploration
taking place. That has now increased tremen-
dously and now with this increased activity,
we expect to find additional reserves of hydro-
In addition to that there are deepwater
blocks which maybe ten years ago no one had
the technology to go out search these blocks.
That is now happening and BHP and BP have
been acquiring these blocks and BHP has
been actively searching these blocks to
estabklish the presence of oil and gas.
The other source that has already been
found and is waiting to be produced is the
cross-border fields between Trinidad and
Venezuela. There is a dedicated office in NGC
working with the Ministry towards being able
to bring those fields into production. If we
can get that down, and we are very optimistic
about it, then that will add tremendously to
our current reserves and available gas.
We have to accept the fact that do what
you may, the gas will deplete at some point
and we have to plan ahead. This is why we
are moving towards globalization of the NGC
so as we make investments on the outside,
we will be able top bring income into the
country to replace what we are losing.
It is not a short term thing that will happen
in a year or two, but the point is we have
started on that journey and we will continue
on that journey come what may.
NGC planning foreign acquisitions
Colombia's economy is similar to T&T
Continued from page 4
Indar Maharaj president of NGC
Photo: Kristian De Silva
Links Archive June 24th 2015 June 26th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page