Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 27th 2017 Contents JULY 27 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
Professor Andrew Jupiter has cit-
ed the need to leave a legacy for
his family as the main reason for
his decision to quit as chairman
of the board of state-owned
Petrotrin last week.
In an interview days after leaving the com-
pany, Jupiter denied that his resignation was
because of disagreements with the Prime Min-
ister and the Cabinet over recommendations
for major changes at Petrotrin but rather the
need to attend to his family.
In an interview on Tuesday, he told the
Business Guardian, "I think it's good now to
bring it to a closure at a time like this. Three
members of my family are Petroleum engineers.
It's time I take a look at how I can leave some
legacy for them."
Jupiter said he gave his best effort during
his tenure in the position and argued that the
numbers speak for themselves.
He added that under his chairmanship,
Petrotrin had made significant strides forward.
"I will not try to say what I have achieved
but all I will say is that the figures before you
show what we have achieved," he said.
And what are the figures?
Since the Jupiter-led board took over Petro-
trin in the last quarter of 2015, the company's
crude production has increased by seven per
cent and its refinery throughput by 33 per cent.
This is according to the Ministry of Energy and
Jupiter explained how the increase in crude
production was achieved.
"We took decisive action with relation to the
areas under us. When oil prices were US$30
a barrel, we had a recovery plan. We knew
Petrotrin did not have the money but we knew
the incremental production service contracts
(IPSC) had the money. So we decreased over-
riding royalties when prices fell below US$30
a barrel, we increased the length of the IPSC
for another 10 to 15 years---because you had
to look at the project life and after that---and
we also increased our work programme by an
additional 12 wells. That is why you are seeing
the increase in production now."
He said the board and---by extension---the
company has had a very good relationship with
"With agreement from the OWTU, we en-
tered into what we call "win-wins" in Trinmar
and that is why the Trinmar production has
stabilised. This is not sustainable but all I am
saying is that we have been able to stabilise
production. So what I am saying in a nutshell is
that with lower oil prices, we have done what
no other board has been successful in doing. We
have arrested the decline in crude production
and this was done under "lower for longer" oil
prices and not at US$100 a barrel."
The former chairman noted that under his
leadership, Petrotrin had reduced permanent
employment by 10 per cent and contract labour
by 60 per cent.
"We have decreased operating expendi-
ture. When we went in it was $5 billion and
we brought it down to $4.5 billion last year.
This year we are on track for it to be $4 billion."
On the issue of Petrotrin's debt service and
the upcoming two-bullet payments---which
together stand in excess of US$1.5 billion---Ju-
piter said the board had pointed a way forward
for the government.
"We put forward a plan to refinance our bul-
let payments, and now we are working with the
Ministry of Finance to ensure that takes place."
With respect to the payment of taxes and
allegations by the Minister of Energy Franklyn
Khan that Petrotrin was owing the government
$1.5 billion in taxes, Jupiter denied it was be-
cause of his board.
"This is an important one. We have com-
menced paying our taxes. You would have read
in the newspaper that Petrotrin owes $1.2 bil-
lion in taxes. I want to tell you we have started
paying our taxes and of that figure only about
five per cent is because of this board."
Arguing that the company has a clear path
forward, Jupiter touted a five-year strategic
"We have a strategic plan which we did not
pay a cent externally to do. All of it was done
internally. Most companies bring in people to
do their strategic plan. If you ask how many
state enterprises have submitted a strategic
plan to the government in the last two years,
you will see how many they are. Petrotrin is
among a few. Why we did it internally? It is
because we wanted to chart the course for a
Jupiter said the strategic plan calls for crude
production at Petrotrin to exceed 60,000 bo/d
and, even now, there are some days that pro-
duction has been close to 50,000 bo/d. He said
private involvement in Petrotrin is not new and
it was part of the company's strategic plan.
"We were looking to see what partnerships
we can have in Trinmar. We also looked at what
partnership we could have on-land so those
are the areas the board looked at. It could take
the form of IPSC where you have a base and
every production above the base you have a
formula for the share.
"You also have a situation where 27 com-
panies showed interest in partnering with
Petrotrin on improved oil recovery because
it shows that where you have oil you will get
more oil, and we will be able to recover another
20 per cent or more when the project comes
on stream. That is where you have known oil."
Jupiter added that "Petrotrin is a different
beast to many people. I see no problem for us
to have involvement with the private sector.
Only 16 per cent of our acreage is controlled
by Petrotrin. The rest is controlled by joint
ventures. So we have to look and see what
partnerships we can have."
The government had said all options were on
the table where Petrotrin is concerned.
Jupiter pointed out that his greatest chal-
lenge was working with all the stakeholders.
"You have to deal with the shareholder; you
have to deal with the employees; you have to
deal with the Ministry of Energy, and all of
that in a situation with low oil prices where
you have a high debt burden. The person who
is there must have the skill to manoeuvre, with
the powerful OWTU, the shareholder, the em-
ployees and the contractors. You have to earn
Jupiter has served T&T for decades as the
country's chief technical officer in the Minis-
try of Energy, its Permanent Secretary and the
architect of its production sharing contracts.
He has held the position of president of the
National Energy Corporation as well as sever-
al board and advisory positions spanning the
NAR, UNC and PNM administrations.
"I wish to thank successive governments
that have given me the opportunity to serve my
country. Since 1989 I was on the Trintoc Board.
More than that, for the last 46 years I have
been associated with Petrotrin in its various
incarnations starting in 1971 with Shell, Trin-
toc, Trintopec, Trintomar and now Petrotrin."
Jupiter said it is not the end of public service
for him but he has to now refocus on his per-
sonal life and his family. While he has resigned
from Petrotrin's board, he remains on the board
of the National Gas Company.
He said whatever he has achieved in his pub-
lic life has never been done alone and, in the
case of Petrotrin, he was fortunate to have led
a very good board and an excellent president
of the company.
"I have never worked by myself. I have a good
team. There is no one who is able to deal with
the issues and leadership like the current pres-
ident and, moreso, with integrity of heart. In
addition, he has assembled a very good man-
agement team and I believe the team we have is
capable of moving Petrotrin to the next level."
Cites reduced costs, increased
production during his tenure
it quits at
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