Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2014 Contents BG8 | ENERGY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JANUARY 2014 • WEEK FOUR
Past energy conferences in T&T have influenced the
Government s policies, said Thackwray Driver, chief
executive officer of the Energy Chamber.
"Over the years a lot of issues that get aired at the Energy
Conference end up being Government policy. In the recent
past, there were the discussions around competitive taxes in
the upstream sector. This issue has been acknowledged in the
last three national budgets," he told the Business Guardian by
phone on Monday.
The Energy Chamber of T&T will host its annual T&T
Energy Conference on February 3-5, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency
Trinidad hotel, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain.
The theme of this year s conference is: Winning in an
Evolving Energy World.
Driver said past Energy Conferences have influenced policy
on local content.
"About a decade ago, the then Government began taking
up the issue of local content because of the discussions that
stemmed from the Energy Chamber conference."
According to information provided by the Energy Chamber,
the energy sector is at a point where it must evolve in order
to remain competitive, given the changing global landscape.
"The shale gas revolution, the expansion of the Panama
Canal, innovations in deepwater technology, shifting gas mar-
kets, and new hydrocarbon discoveries in emerging markets,
for example, East Africa, suggest that T&T must rethink and
tweak its approach by factoring in these global changes."
The Energy Chamber said the sector still battles with
declining levels of crude and challenges with gas production.
"To help reverse this decline, T&T will have to look towards
incorporating innovative technologies to develop stranded gas
fields. In addition, when compared to other more competitive
energy sector provinces, T&T offers less competitive fiscal
terms to upstream operators and a risk-reward structure along
the gas value chain that does not encourage investment.
"The conference will highlight the challenges facing the
T&T energy sector in light of global changes, focus on increasing
oil and gas production, highlight new innovation and technology
for deepwater exploration, and propose strategies to sustain
Approximately 2,000 visitors were in attendance over the
three days of the 2013 Energy Conference, roughly seven times
more than other annual energy conferences held in the country.
Delegates from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom,
Germany, Canada, Suriname, among others, were partici-
The conference attracts senior decision makers in the indus-
try, including the chief executives, supply chain, finance, and
operations managers of T&T s major upstream, midstream,
and downstream operator companies.
"As our 2013 post-conference survey indicates, 97 per cent
of delegates will return and 100 per cent will recommend the
conference to others."
This year, Dr Steven Chu will deliver a presentation on the
future trends in the global energy sector.
Chu has served as the 12th US Secretary of Energy during
President Obama administration. Under Chu s leadership in
the Obama cabinet, the Department of Energy began ARPA-
E, the Energy Innovation Hubs, and the Clean Energy Min-
Some of the other prominent speakers include Katherine
Spector, head of commodities strategy at CIBC World Markets
and Prof Emeritus Vaclav Smil.
In addition, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, Kevin
Ramnarine will deliver the feature address. In the past Jeroen
Van Der Veer, former Shell chief executive officer, Alvaro Uribe,
former president of Colombia, Xavier Sala-i-Martin, professor
of economics, Columbia University, have all delivered feature
The Energy Conference also features a trade show which
runs concurrently with the conference. The Energy Conference
trade show provides an opportunity for local and foreign com-
panies to showcase their products, get business and provides
networking prospects. In 2013, the trade show attracted sig-
nificant traffic of approximately 2,500 visitors.
This year s trade show is expected to be even bigger. Its
huge success last year prompted exhibitors to book their trade
show booths for 2014 early.
Trade show exhibitors include Schlumberger, bpTT, Caribbean
Safety Products, BG T&T, National Training Agency, Tucker
Energy Services, Baker Hughes and Trinidad Tank and Fuel.
The conference will also focus on developing T&T s green
According to the chamber, T&T like many other small island
states is faced with the challenge of renewable energy devel-
opment and struggle with the impacts of climate change.
"It is urgent that we identify and implement effective adap-
tation and mitigation measures to cushion the blow of climate
change on our economy. February 5, 2014, (day three) of the
conference, will be devoted to green energy discourse, which
will allow for information exchange, networking and business
opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency for
those in attendance."
According to information provided by the Energy Chamber,
this year s Green Energy Day will bring together academia,
business, project financiers and government representatives
to help fuel further discourse on green economy development
and its importance to long term national development.
Jane Allen, Deloitte s global leader, renewable energy will
deliver the feature address at the event, which will be held
on February 5 at the Hyatt.
The Energy Chamber believes T&T has an enviable reputation
as being one of only two islands worldwide that exports more
energy than it imports.
"However, while the country is a leader in global LNG and
petrochemical trade, there is an ongoing debate over whether
we pay enough attention to energy efficiency and the feasibility
of applying renewable energy technologies, both at home and
regionally. We generate most of our energy from natural gas,
which is a clean burning fuel, and its availability allows us to
pay a subsidised price for energy.
"In spite of this advantage, our gas and oil resources are
finite. Planning for a future where we are forced to rely less
on our energy resources is today s responsibility. T&T also
has global obligations as signatories to several global environ-
mental accords, not to mention we are a small island developing
state and, as a result, we are likely to be among those who
pay the highest price from the effects of climate change."
Conference has influenced
policy on local content
Dr Steven Chu, 12th US
Secretary of Energy
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