Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2017 Contents A15
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Shell T&T boss: Talks on Dragon gas ongoing
Discussions between Venezuela and
T&T concerning the Dragon Field gas
deal have not been interrupted due
to sanctions posed by the US against
Venezuela in late August, 2017.
Commenting on the progress of
the negotiations, Derek Hudson,
country chairman of Shell T&T said
the Dragon ield deal is still on "sub-
ject to coming to a mutual agreement
with Venezuela with NGC. We are still
early in the planning stages."
Hudson was the feature speaker
at a luncheon event hosted by the
Ener y Chamber held at the Hilton
hotel in Port-Of-Spain yesterday.
Hudson's remarks come on the
heels of public debate suggesting
that Shell would have to remove em-
ployees from Venezuela due to the
In August the Donald Trump-led
administration imposed sanctions
on Venezuela which were mainly
targeted at the country's inancial
The US is a major importer of Ven-
"At no point in time would we ever
go counter to any of the guidelines
to any of the governments who have
applied sanctions." Hudson said, re-
sponding from questions from the
media after the luncheon
In December 2016, Prime Minis-
ter Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro signed the
deal which allows T&T access to gas
reserves from Venezuela's Dragon
Explaining the process, Hudson
said Shell's Trade and Compliance
Of ice reviews such sanctions.
Hudson said those who are in-
volved in the negotiations are experts
who are non-US residents which, ac-
cording to Hudson means, "we have
people from the UK, Dubai and T&T.
The way Shell operates under these
circumstances is that we will use our
global expertise in doing it."
He added, "Shell has worked in
countries where sanctions have been
applied before such as Russia and
in those cases we will follow those
According to Hudson, by the mid-
dle of the next decade Shell has the
opportunity to double its production
to the 2014 levels of production.
"We have capacity today to go
between 650 to 700 million scoffs
(standard cubic feet) of gas. We have
some commercial constraints with
respect to some things we have to
do with Atlantic so to get us up to
the levels we were at, at that point in
time required probably another 200
to 300 million scoffs."
He added that the challenges that
lie ahead involved the decline of
older gas ields.
West: Brace for tough budget
Brace for a tough budget.
The warning came from Minister in
the Ministry of Finance Allyson West
yesterday, as the country waits for
Monday's budget presentation from
Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
Following the opening of the
Senate at the third session of the
11th Parliament, West admitted that
preparation for the 2017/2018 budget,
which started since May, involved a
lot of work and sleepless nights.
Asked how she would describe the
upcoming budget, West replied, "I
think it is going to be a tough budget,
as suggested in Wednesday's ses-
Her reference was to Wednesday's
Spotlight on T&T's Financial Circum-
stances forum hosted by Prime Min-
ister Dr Keith Rowley.
"We have to get to the point where
we acknowledge that we are not in
the best of situations and that every-
body needs to contribute to getting
us out of it. And the budget will re-
flect that. I don't think it is going to be
as austere as people believe it will be.
But it will be up to you to judge when
you hear it."
Told that people have been post-
ing on social media a list of measures
Government intended to impose,
mainly an increase in taxes and cut
in subsidies, which has been trig-
gering fear and panic among the
population, West urged society to
take things easy and not to believe
everything they read.
West opted not to say what was
the most worrying aspect for her in
this year's iscal package, saying Im-
bert and his team did the majority of
work in inalising the budget.
"The most challenging part of the
budget was balancing it."
Her contribution in the last three
months focused on the administra-
tion of taxes, she said.
West also said she was con ident
the process of compliance with the
T&T Revenue Authority (TTRA) will
be implemented this year.
"We are moving towards the pro-
cess of the TTRA. We hope to get that
done soon so we are expecting to
see a signi icant improvement in the
She said it was alarming that scores
of people have evaded paying taxes
"It is very alarming and even be-
yond that, that is why we need to
take the responsibility of ensuring
that they do pay, whether it is by
providing better services, systems
and education and then ultimately
ensuring that compliance measures
are put in."
While the Board of Inland Revenue
has the authority in collecting taxes,
West said they do not exercise them.
"We need to encourage and edu-
cate and then, in the inal analysis,
use the big stick if we need to."
Having a background in taxation,
West said the Government was also
moving towards more equity in the
"The way I see equity working re-
ally is less in the structure with the
tax system because as reasonable
as it is, it does need some tweaking.
But it really is compliance and we are
moving towards getting there. Next
week's budget would not do that."
Derek Hudson, country chairman of Shell T&T, delivers the feature address.
PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Robert Le Hunte, Minister of Public Utilities and Allyson West, Minister in
the Ministry of Finance, chat during the first sitting of the senate yesterday.
PICTURE OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT
Non-Violence Begins with Me
OCTOBER IS NON-VIOLENCE MONTH
An Interfaith Gathering of
Word, Song, Music & Dance
Living Water Community,
109 Frederick St, PoS, 4 p.m.
Live on Trinity TV
Various school activities
Special broadcast with
Bishop Jason Gordon.
Live on Trinity TV, 8 p.m.
Non-Violence Pledge Series continues
with Sr Julie Peters SSM, Trinity TV, 8 p.m.
Candlelight Procession to pray for peace
in T&T, Queen's Park Savannah, 6 p.m.
ONGOING: School activities and awareness campaign
BEGINS WITH ME
UN Int'l Day of
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