• 07 APR 2016

Post Cabinet Briefing Summary – Thursday 7th April, 2016

The Minister of Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, hosted the Post Cabinet Press Briefing today (Thursday 7th April, 2016) at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair, Port of Spain.

At the briefing, the Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and the Office of the Prime Minister, announced that the Prime Minister, the Honourable Keith Rowley, is scheduled to depart on May 2nd, 2016 on an official trip.

Firstly, Prime Minister Rowley will travel to Washington DC, along with other members of the CARICOM Secretariat, to hold discussions with the Vice-President of the United States of America Mr. Joe Biden. The focus of these discussions, which will take place on the 3rd and 4th of May, will be energy and security related issues. This Summit is part of the continuation of discussions between the U.S. – Caribbean Central American Energy Security Task Force.

Prime Minister Rowley then travels to New York where he will deliver the keynote address at Medgar Evers College’s 1st Annual Awards Dinner in recognition of individual and corporate contributions on May 5th. The Prime Minister has accepted the invitation to deliver remarks during the dinner as students from Trinidad and Tobago comprise 23% of the college’s international student population.

The Prime Minister will then meet with Mr. Robert Dudley, BP CEO, to continue discussions which have begun between Trinidad and Tobago and British Petroleum. The Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Honourable Nicole Olivierre will accompany the Prime Minster at this meeting.

Subsequently, Dr. Rowley will make an official visit to the Republic of Ghana following an invitation by President John Dramani Mahama during the 2015 CHOGM meeting in Malta. This visit will facilitate the exploration and the continuation of bilateral discussions between the two countries, particularly in areas of investment such as banking, governance, institutional cooperation and technology transfer as well as the exploration of energy sector related investments. Prime Minister Rowley will remain in Ghana from the 8th – 11th May. A private sector contingent has been invited and the names of persons comprising the delegation will be revealed upon confirmation.

Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley will then travel to the United Kingdom to attend the London Anti-Corruption Summit which commences on the 12th May. This summit is a result of an initiative by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Prime Minister Cameron has extended a personal invitation to Prime Minister Rowley due to the Government’s active fight against corruption as witnessed in Trinidad and Tobago’s contributions during the CHOGM sessions last year. The Honourable Stuart Young, who has already engaged in preliminary discussions, will accompany the Prime Minister to this event. A main item on the agenda will be how the flow of information, among other items, can be made easier in order to combat international corruption.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet with the heads of various anti-corruption organisations and units in the UK on the 13th May ahead of his return to Trinidad and Tobago on May 14th.

The Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Honourable Nicole Olivierre, also announced the Government’s decision to grant BHP’s request for an extension of the Gas Sales Contract as it pertains to the Angostura Fields. This decision followed an application by BHP Billiton, operator of the Block 2C field, for an extension of the Gas Sales Contract as it pertains to the Angostura Fields. The Standing Committee on Energy met yesterday (Wednesday 6th May, 2016) and, after considerable deliberation, agreed to approve the extension.

Block 2C is subject to a production sharing contract which was initially agreed to between BHP Petroleum and Elf Petroleum Ltd Trinidad in 1996 for a twenty-five (25) year period. In October 2013, the production sharing contract was extended for a further five (5) years. As a result of the on-going successful production of gas from the field, along with the increased life of the gas being produced from the field, BHP subsequently requested an extension to the Gas Supply Contract to NGC.

From the start-up of this field in 2011, gas supply was 220 million standard cubic feet per day. At present, the field delivers in excess of 235 million standard cubic feet per day. With this extension, the availability of gas is projected to increase beyond the year 2021 until 2016 with an increased deliverability of 255 million standard cubic feet per day. Therefore, with the availability of this facility, there will be some offset to the impending gas shortage.