Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 2nd 2015 Contents utive chairman, a great deal of the refinery
operator skills have been lost by the com-
pany and it may now have to seek an oper-
ator for the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
"On the refining side you need a good
operator and for that reason I will be
inclined to look for a partner with oper-
ating expertise because no one person can
do it. I would have been prepared to offer
them a share in the pie in return for their
Jones said he did not think that the
company can undertake a bottom-of-the-
barrel upgrade because it is so expensive
and the company so heavily burdened. He
said projects like the yet-to-be completed
ultra low sulphur diesel project should be
pursued but the bottom-of-the-barrel
project (the heavier refined products such
as fuel oil) was just too costly.
Petrotrin is a $40 billion company with
thousands of direct and indirect employ-
JULY 2 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENERGY | BG9
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State-owned Petrotrin is
unlikely to attract a president
in T&T who has the charac-
teristics and qualities that the
company is seeking to lead the
troubled multi-billion dollar
That is the view of the man who five years ago
was at the helm of Petrotrin, the company s former
executive chairman Malcolm Jones. Petrotrin, last
month, advertised the post of president and is
looking for someone to replace its retiring president
In an interview with the Business Guardian on
Tuesday, Jones lamented that the company will
have to search outside of T&T for talent.
"The company has several challenges, the first
begin finding someone locally with the quality
and characteristics that it is looking for. There
may be citizens who are able to do the job but
they may be all abroad so I think that will be their
Jones argued that one of the biggest challenges
that the new president will face is the highly
unionised environment in which that person will
have to operate.
"They will have to be able to straddle the course
gingerly," he said.
He said the new president will also have to make
a clear determination on what is the future of
Petrotrin in terms of upstream and midstream
production. Petrotrin operates in both the upstream
and midstream as it is involved in the production
of crude oil, in refining and its marketing.
Jones said he is convinced that in the upstream
areas, Petrotrin will have to seek a joint venture
partner with deep pockets to search for and pro-
duce crude oil.
He said while the company has significant
reserves of crude oil both on land and particularly
offshore, Petrotrin could not produce it on its
"There is a lot of oil, particularly in Trinmar.
We know there is oil in Soldado and a lot of heavy
oil both on land and at sea but you need a company
with deep pockets to find it and produce it. On
land, you need some more seismic work and you
are likely to have to go deep to find additional
reserves but there is a lot of oil still to produce,"
Petrotrin s former executive chairman explained.
Chief executive officer of the Energy Chamber,
Dr Thackwray Driver, has a similar view and in
an emailed response on Tuesday, told the Business
Guardian that the new president will have to deal
with finding the resources to produce the oil that
Petrotrin has in its acreage.
Dr Driver explained: "The company holds licences
to significant acreage with good potential for
increased oil production, especially from the off-
shore assets in the Gulf of Paria. However, this is
mature acreage that requires significant continued
investment in both new drilling and enhanced oil
recovery to increase production. Much of Petrotrin s
infrastructure is aged and requires significant addi-
tional investment in asset integrity."
Jones also suggested that there may also be oil
on the east coast, west of where Spanish outfit
Repsol now operates and where Trintopec once
Only last month the Energy Ministry gave a
grant to the University of T&T to study the use
of carbon dioxide to increase crude production in
In the case of Petrotrin s refinery, Driver argued
that the company had to ensure it was operating
at the highest levels of efficiency.
"Like all oil and gas companies, Petrotrin faces
significant challenges in the current commodity
price environment. The challenge for the company
will be to increase oil production and improve
refinery efficiency while controlling costs."
But for Jones the issue goes beyond the current
low-price energy environment. It has to do with
the capacity to properly run the Pointe-a-Pierre
refinery since, according to Petrotrin s former exec-
Jones: Petrotrin needs
foreign partner for refinery
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