Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2013 Contents A19
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LUXEMBOURG---The European Union overcame
French objections on Friday to come to agreement on a
free trade negotiating mandate for sweeping talks with
the United States that President Barack Obama wants
to officially open next week.
Under Friday's deal, trade ministers at a meeting in
Luxembourg agreed to France's demand to keep its
movie and television industry out of the hotly-antici-
pated trans-Atlantic talks.
But, they agreed it could be possible to debate it at a
later time, meaning the deeply divisive issue could
The outcome should allow Obama and his EU coun-
terparts to announce the start of negotiations for a
deal expected to provide a big boost to growth and
jobs by eliminating tariffs and other barriers that have
long plagued economic relations.
A free trade pact would create a market with com-
mon standards and regulations across countries that
together account for nearly half the global economy.
EU gets deal on trans-Atlantic trade
The four production contracts
signed this week between the T&T
Government and Australian energy
company BHP Billiton are for the
drilling of six wells in the deep
waters off Trinidad.
They are blocks TTDAA 5, 7, 28
and 29 located in waters which are
considered frontier areas because
they have not been explored.
Minister of Energy Kevin Ram-
narine said a discovery in the deep
water could have significant impli-
cations for the country s economy.
"Preliminary estimates of the com-
bined unrisked natural gas resource
potential of these blocks are in the
range of 2.4 to 23.6 trillion cubic feet
and unrisked crude oil resources are
in the range of 428 million to 4.2 bil-
lion barrels of oil," he said, adding
that the contracts had the potential
to "radically reshape the economic
landscape of this country in coming
Ramnarine said the blocks were
awarded to BHP in a transparent
process following the recommenda-
tion of the technical evaluation com-
mittee and the overview committee.
As part of the agreement, BHP has
committed to acquiring 5,330 square
kilometres of 3D seismic and the
drilling of six wells.
The company has also committed
itself to the payment of administrative
charges, contribution of funds to
provide training and research and
development, as well as production
and equipment bonuses and schol-
Ramnarine said the contracts
reflected the changing global envi-
ronment in which T&T needed to
ensure that it got the terms and con-
ditions right. There were changes to
the fiscal regime that allows BHP to
recover as much as 80 per cent of
President of BHP Billiton Trinidad
Vincent Pereira said the plan was to
conduct its seismic in the first half
of next year in a joint effort with
bpTT. He said BHP was attracted to
the blocks because it believed there
were hydrocarbons in the deep water
He also explained that blocks 28
and 29 were likely to have the same
play as the company s Angostura
field in Block 2c from which it has
already produced 74 million barrels
of oil equivalent. Blocks 5 and 6 are
believed to have the Miocene play.
Pereira said he was hopeful that the
company will make discoveries but
hoped it would not be as complex
as its Angostura field.
He said: "Our track record in
Trinidad and Tobago speaks for itself.
For example, Angostura originally
commenced oil production in 2005;
within 40 months of the original
2001 discoveries---a record timeframe.
Indeed, the Kairi and Canteen oil
fields, were the first new oil reservoirs
to have been identified anywhere in
Trinidad and Tobago for 33 years---
and also marked the first offshore
oil production from this new geologic
play in the Oligocene reservoirs."
Classic Motors created history at the
Trade and Investment Convention
(TIC) yesterday when it unveiled the
2013 Honda Acccord on the convention
floor at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-
Commenting on the automative firm s
impressive display yesterday, sales exec-
utive Denyl Kowlessar described the
event as an "Accord-winning experi-
"We created history in terms of getting
a vehicle into the Port-of-Spain ballroom
at the Hyatt," he said.
Two models of the new Honda Accord
were launched at TIC yesterday---the 2-
litre vti and the Srv6 or 3.5v6.
Kowlessar said with safety and reli-
ability on the nation s roads a major
concern, the seat belts in the 3.5v6 have
a three-point positioning system, a Y-
shaped arrangement using lap and sash
belts. The car has a variable cylinder
management system to provide more
power when needed.
Kowlessar said the vehicle is manu-
factured with a lot of lighter material
and plastics "without compromising
performance or engineering" as Honda
is becoming more environmentally
friendly with the material used in its
New Honda unveiled at TIC
Visitors to the Classic Motors booth at the Trade and Investment Convention at
the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, view the new Honda Accord.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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