Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 29th 2013 Contents T
FOLLOW THE LEADER
THE TEXTILE KING
Corner Queen & Henry Sts., P.O.S.
Tel: 625-2904/Fax: 623-2313
The Largest Variety in Stock
Plastic (Clear & Printed)
Kitchen Curtain Panels
Rugs (60" x 80")
In fact, we all agree that Trinmar
on a whole is way below its potential,
which is now doing around 22,-23,000
Why is Trinmar not bringing out
more black gold?
The oil is there, and I heard former
energy minister Conrad Enill saying
on television a few days ago the PNM s
policy was to focus on gas and not
on oil, and that this (Ramnarine) min-
ister s policy is to focus on oil.
And we are now producing eight
times more natural gas than oil.
This is a gas-based economy and
whatever you may think about it, nat-
ural gas has brought with it a high
degree of prosperity to T&T.
My analysis, however, tells me that
of all the revenue we collect from the
energy sector, about 50 per cent is
from oil production and the other 50
per cent is from gas.
What we have accomplished this
year is that this is the first year that
oil production has not fallen.
Oil production has been falling like
a stone since 2006, and this is first
year you will see a flattening of the
Next year we intend to turn that
upwards, but to accomplish that the
infrastructure which is old must be
upgraded because oil has to be piped
and the pipelines have to be upgraded,
it has to be stored properly and so on,
and all this is part of which we call
the Soledado South West Reactivation
Project which is ongoing right now.
Senator, on this sordid question
of the stealing of diesel in a small
country like T&T, it seems so inex-
Let me show you something...I
want people to think very carefully
about the raids that have been hap-
pening over the last two years and
ask themselves the question very seri-
ously, why wasn t this happening
before this Government came into
You only began to hear about people
being raided in Sea Lots, Claxton Bay,
Matura, and so on.
When I became minister my public
servants came to me with information
and presented. When I saw the infor-
mation, it became very clear to me
that there was a massive racket around
diesel. You know the interesting thing
about being a minister is that some-
times the answers are with your public
servants because they have been
around longer than you, so you have
to respect them.
How and when did you begin to
From Page A10
receive information to go after
I cannot identify the source,
but a very senior officer (now
retired) came to me and said this
has been going on since 1980.
He told me that it was because
the price of diesel in Trinidad is
being subsided against the price
for this commodity up the islands
that the differential creates the
opportunity for the illegal trade.
Did he tell you why nothing
was done since the inception of
I think there was a total lack
of will by people in high office.
Yes, to do anything about
it...But there is a very interesting
graph (which he brought and
which shows the extent of the
racket and how the PP regime
worked towards reducing the ille-
gal trade)...What we have done
in the last five months, we have
three raids and people were
arrested. They may have been
only the guys who were trans-
porting the diesel, and we don t
know to what extent they are the
I had the ministry and NP do
a little exercise...of the three raids,
please tell me what was the value
of what was being illegally
exported? They told me that
based on the tanks that they
seized and other assumptions,
the value of the three raids was
$100 million a year.
What does that tell you, Sir?
Which is if somebody has a
business with that turnover
annually, that is big business.
There are big businessmen in this
country who do not make that
kind of money in one year; so
where is that money going? And
what is it being used for?
(A grave expression) The infor-
mation that I have from the police
is that the diesel is being used as
legal tender for the purchase of
guns and drugs, right?
And if you look at where the
pipe was laid..where the hose was
running...it was from Sea Lots
under water, to the Caricom Jetty.
Now we are talking about a
complex operation, we are not
talking about something which
can be done by simple people.
And furthermore, I am told that
we have made a big dent in the
trade (still referring to the graph).
Even though we have put some
of them out of business, we have
not annihilated them, we have
not landed the knock out punch.
I have been working very close
with the Minister of National
Security on this whole diesel
racket and as result, we are told
people are now shifting their
operations away from Sea Lots
because of the heat being put on
them by the authorities.
2013 a critical year
for energy sector
"For the first decade of this century, the Malcolm Jones
administration at Petrotrin did little or nothing to maintain
Trinmar...While Trinmar was being starved and run down, the
Jones administration was pumping money and other resources
in two projects..." ---Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine
shows a graph of
in T&T 2003 to
December 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Links Archive December 28th 2013 December 30th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page