Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 16th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Monday, January 16, 2017
UWI lecturer calls for better
Caricom trade under Trump
A UWI lecturer is calling on
T&T and other Caricom mem-
ber states to establish a united
proposal to improve and further
develop trade and other rela-
tions with the United States
under US President-elect Don-
ald Trump, who takes office on
Lecturer in International Rela-
tions at the St Augustine campus of
the University of the West Indies,
Dr Mark Kirton, said that in an
interview with the T&T Guardian
Asked what could T&T expect
from the Trump administration,
Kirton said: "The only thing that
is predictable about the Trump
administration so far is its unpre-
He said Caricom leaders "should
have met and have a seamless, uni-
fied approachon the Donald Trump
That issue is expected to be dis-
cussed during next month's Car-
icom Inter-sessional Heads of
Government Meeting in George-
town, Guyana. Kirton said he was
hopeful the leaders would devel-
op a focused approach to the new
US administration and then seek
an audience with the Secretary of
He insisted that meeting should
approached in a structured man-
Kirton said issues of as immigra-
tion, security and climate change
were key issues of note under the
He said based on campaign state-
ments by Trump, there was the
possibility of immigration chang-
es for the people of the Caribbean
Dealing with the issue of trade,
Kirton said initial impressions from
the incoming US President showed
he was articulating "a kind of pro-
tectionist approach", which could
be of concern to Caribbean states.
The United States was one of
T&T's largest trading partners, he
noted. He said in that regard there
was an uncertainty, but T&T would
have to look carefully and ensure it
analysed where it could maintain
that link with the US.
He said, however, there was not
an adequate level of clarity so far
on Trump's approaches.
Kirton said Trump's stance on
climate change during last year's
US Presidential election campaign
represented a threat to the conti-
nuity of the environmental and
climate change policy emerging
from the US.
The UWI lecturer said: "Trump
is not operating as if he would con-
tinue to deal with this issue.
"I think that too is a potential
issue that T&T has to be concerned
about and to look at. His commit-
ment to climate change and the
environment as threats to small
states like T&T."
Kirton also said he did not see
interventions and programmes to
deal with potential deviant behav-
iour among youths in this country
on Trump's agenda initially.
He said the people of the region
had reason to be concerned about
Trump's presidency, adding that
he did not think belive the people
on the streets were unmindful of
those changes which could impact
He said there was a large Car-
ibbean population in the US that
could be impacted.
Imbert: Oil prices
on the rise again
Finance Minister and acting
Energy Minister Colm Imbert is
happy that oil prices are rising
which he said is positive for the
economy of the country.
"From the recent agreement with
the Organisation of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and
non OPEC members you would have
seen the uptick in the prices. I am
very happy that the prices are over
US$ 50 a barrel of oil. It means that
T&T is now getting Supplemental
Petroleum Tax (SPT) which the
country does not get when the price
is less than $50. The way the works is
that it kicks in immediately at $50,"
He said smaller energy compa-
nies have said that they make a loss
money when oil prices around $50 to
$60 a barrel and the oil and gas fiscal
regime has to be modified.
"We are going to deal with that
and we are going to address the way
the SPT kicks in, to make it a profit
based tax rather than a volume or
revenue based tax so there will be
a more equitable increase in the
SPT which should encourage local
companies to engage in greater pro-
duction and exploration," he said.
Imbert was speaking yesterday
at the launch of bpTT Juniper Plat-
form, Labidco Industrial Estate, La
The platform was built by locally
by local company Trinidad Offshore
The Juniper facility will take gas
from the Corallita and Lantana fields
located 50 miles off the Southeast
coast in water depth of approxi-
mately 360 feet.
Imbert said the Juniper field and
other projects will help stabilise the
gas shortages that energy compa-
"I am told that by August the Ju-
niper Field Development will come
on stream with a production of 500
million standard Cubic Feet per day.
This new production and other
projects that bpTT has on stream
such as the Trinidad Onshore Com-
pression Project is due to come on
stream in April 2017 and will help
us stabilise our current gas supply
situation," he said.
He also spoke about the Dragon
Field in Venezuela which T&T ex-
pects to get gas from in a few years.
In December, Prime Minster Dr.
Keith Rowley had visited Venezuela
and signed an agreement in relation
to the Dragon gas field.
"As soon as the pipeline is con-
structed we should be able to access
gas from Dragon to assist with our
gas supply problem," he said.
Imbert used TOFCO as an ex-
ample for other local companies to
emulate and said the Government
will give TOFCO any assistance they
need to break into regional and in-
Norman Christie, Regional Presi-
dent, bpTT who spoke to the media
after the official ceremony said that
they spent roughly US $2 billion on
the entire Juniper project.
"We spent tens of millions of
dollars building this platform. It
is significant for T&T. We had 700
people working on the site. When
this platform ends up offshore, over
550 million Standard Cubic Feet of
gas per day will be brought to the
country for use by the petrochemical
plant at Point Lisas and Atlantic,"
bpTT Juniper Platform launched
Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Energy and Energy Industries
Colm Imbert receives a gift from BPTT Regional President Norman Christie
at the completion of the fabrication of the topside of the Juniper offshore
platform at the TOFCO Yard, Labidco Industrial Estate, La Brea yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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