Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2016 Contents A17
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
RIO DE JANEIRO---The credit ratings
agency Moody's has stripped Brazil of
its investment grade status.
The agency is lowering Brazil's ratings
by two notches, from Baa3 to Baa2 with
a negative outlook. Moody's is the last
of the three major credit ratings
agencies to cut Brazil to junk status.
Fitch Ratings lowered its rating for
Brazil in December, mirroring a similar
move by Standard & Poor's in
In a note accompanying its decision
on Wednesday, Moody's says the
downgrade is driven by worries over an
increase in government debt "in a low-
growth environment" and the country's
"challenging political dynamics".
Brazil is in the midst of its worst
recession since the 1930s. Last week,
the central bank published figures
showing that the country's economy
shrank more than four per cent in 2015.
Moody's strips Brazil of investment grade status
Close to 80 employees of Shell
Trinidad Limited will soon be on
the breadline. News of the layoffs
was reported by Guardian Media
Ltd s television outlet, CNC3, after
a memo sent out to staff on Tues-
day by Luis Prado, country chair-
Prado wrote: "For a number of
years, we have implemented many
measures to try to improve and sus-
tain the plant s ability to be more
competitive in the Caribbean lubri-
cants market. However, after doing
a significant regional portfolio review,
we have made the difficult decision
to close the Point Lisas plant."
Prado said the decision will affect
50 Shell employees and about 30
contractors. He said the plant will
cease operations in June and will be
sold as an industrial facility.
"The supply of Shell lubricants
will come from other locations in
the region and we will continue with
our macro-distribution model here,"
The job cuts at Shell Trinidad were
announced just days after parent
company Royal Dutch Shell PLC,
which finalised a $70 billion mega-
merger with BG Group on February
15, said it was cutting 10,000 jobs
across its global operations.
However, Prado said there was no
link between the two developments:
"I understand this may raise con-
cerns, given its timing, so I would
like to assure you that this is a strate-
gic regional portfolio decision that
was independent of the global Shell-
The jobs cuts are the latest to
affect T&T s energy sector which is
suffering fall out from declining oil
and gas prices. In recent weeks
retrenchments have also been
announced by bpTT and Repsol.
Shell has operated the lubricants
facility at Point Lisas since 1993.
The plant, with state-of-the-art
technology, has a capacity of 42 mil-
lion litres a year.
Base oils are brought in and mixed
with additives and the resulting
lubricants are exported, with 90 per
cent going to Caribbean markets.
The company also owns an inter-
est in the Atlantic LNG as a non-
operating partner. Its subsidiary Shell
Global Solutions provides technical
services to the state-owned energy
Royal Dutch Shell has embarked
on job cuts across its operations to
reduce costs amid the severe drop
in oil prices. The company cut oper-
ating costs by US$4 billion last year
and expects further reductions of
US$3 billion in 2016.
Shell Trinidad sends workers home
Crude oil prices edged higher
yesterday after the US government
reported that crude oil storage hit
another record high last week.
However, the amount of storage
was less than what some traders
had expected. US government data
showed crude stockpiles rose 3.5
million barrels last week to reach
an all-time peak above 507 million
Some traders bet prices will head
back lower after Saudi Oil Minister
Ali al-Naimi, on Tuesday, ruled out
production cuts. Al-Naimi told a
meeting of energy leaders in Houston
that production cuts aimed at sup-
porting falling crude prices won t
He said the market should instead
let some operators go out of business.
Following his remarks, crude oil tum-
bled more than four per cent on
Tuesday and was lower in early trad-
Word is that more major producers
are likely to join a Saudi-Russia deal
to freeze output at January s highs.
Iran, which opposes any move to
limit its oil output until its crude
exports reach pre-sanction levels,
called the deal "laughable."
West Texas Intermediate crude
rose 26 cents to US$32.13 a barrel in
New York, but is still well below the
US$45 a barrel price on which T&T s
budget is pegged. Brent crude, which
is used to price oils internationally,
gained US$1.14, or 3.4 per cent, to
US$34.41 a barrel.
WTI moves above US$32 a barrel
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley greets Derrick Murray, chairman of the T&T Transparency Institute, as Dion
Abdool, left, Susan Gordon, far right, and Melissa Cobham, members of the of the local chapter of
Transparency International, look on. Dr Rowley met with officials from the T&T Chapter of Transparency
International at the Diplomatic Centre and they discussed the status of procurement legislation, whistle
blower legislation and campaign financing.
Links Archive February 24th 2016 February 26th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page