• 19 FEB 2024

Prime Minister Rowley’s Address at Guyana’s Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo








Dr the Hon. Keith Rowley


Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago


The International Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo


‘Fueling Transformation and Modernization’


The Co-operative Republic of Guyana

February 19th, 2024



Fueling Transformation through Regional Collaboration


 It is my pleasure to participate in the 3rd Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo. I would like to congratulate the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana on bringing together key local, regional and international energy players to the Conference. Permit me to acknowledge His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana as Chairman of CARICOM. Trinidad and Tobago reiterates its commitment to collaboratively advancing CARICOM’s strategic priorities under your stewardship.

This Conference has grown in strength and stature and has become a “must attend” event on the annual regional energy conference calendar for industry players, policymakers and stakeholders. This year’s theme: ‘Fueling Transformation and Modernization’ is befitting of the event’s expanded focus to incorporate a wide cross section of industries.

The global oil and gas sector has been instrumental in providing the energy required for the significant developments in the global economy. The industry is playing an important role in the energy transition by providing the affordable and reliable energy needed to fuel growth, producing this energy with decreasing emissions through carbon capture strategies, reduction in flaring and leaks to support a low carbon world.

The oil and gas industry will be a major source of energy for decades to come, during a protracted period of transition, even as we invest and expand the contribution of various renewables. Policy-makers, worldwide, need to re-evaluate the central role it plays in modern life. With rising concerns for future demand and climate change, the industry finds itself in a delicate situation. Only by recognizing the true scope of these ongoing challenges and addressing their implications by offering leadership on solutions, can the industry continue to prosper in an increasingly complex world.

The Caribbean energy economies, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname are significant players in this market and will not be irresponsible nor will we shy away from beneficial opportunities.

In the pursuit of energy security and resilience, our region is no stranger to challenges. CARICOM countries, on average, import an estimated 87 percent of their oil, compared to a global average of 21 percent. This dependence has left the region vulnerable to energy market volatilities which take a toll on crucial economic sectors within the region. Collectively, we continue to echo the sentiments of sustained development through the availability of our resources. This availability has been demonstrated by the recent oil and gas findings in Guyana and Suriname. In order to ensure energy security for the region and combat the negative impacts of climate change, it is imperative that we effectively utilize our resources, whether they be hydrocarbon or renewable, through collaborative efforts. Only by working together can we attain our objective of fostering productive and resilient economies in what promises to be an increasingly hostile business environment.

With the emergence of our region as a significant player in the hydrocarbon industry, we are presented with a valuable chance to proactively utilize our combined knowledge and expertise in order to maximize future prospects. By ensuring our region fully capitalizes on its resources, including human and mechanical, we can guarantee the alignment of energy and industrial transformations with a collaborative economic strategy.

For successful implementation these strategies must be accompanied by efficient and effective public management systems and integration into the local economy through shared infrastructure and value chains.  To this end, we in the deep southern Caribbean are currently actively engaged in spawning a cargo ferry service which we are confident can grow into a major catalyst for welcomed regional collaboration, development and diversification.


In our National Development Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago for 2016-2030 we signalled the Government’s intention to transition towards a more diversified economy, which produces a broad spectrum of export competitive, high-value products and services. It is in this context, that the Government has developed a Roadmap for Trinidad and Tobago with the objective of transforming to a new economy and society. The recent opening of the ultra-modern Phoenix Park Industrial Estate is testimony to our efforts and intentions.


Economic development of Trinidad and Tobago has been driven by monetization of the country’s oil and gas resources and this will continue into the foreseeable future. The roadmap is a guide for transforming the economy of Trinidad and Tobago from being dependent on the oil and gas industry into one that generates revenues and foreign exchange from a broader range of sectors and a wider portfolio of products. These targeted new and increased investments will come from encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and diversification, inspiring new players in the market to venture into new business and projects such as manufacturing, food processing, insurance, finance and logistics.

Energy is at the heart of sustainable economic development. Transforming the energy system to meet the increasing energy demand while also lowering global emissions will require a broad energy mix, and unprecedented collaboration across all sectors and countries. Energy transformation is not just about providing carbon-free energy, but about prospering while on the journey to doing so. Producer economies may have to diversify their energy production as they seek to diversify their economies, putting energy transitions at the heart of their development strategies. In this regard, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is taking concrete steps to diversify the country’s energy mix. In conjunction with a Consortium of BP and Shell we are constructing a Solar Utility Project which has the potential to provide up to eight percent of the country’s power requirements. The completion and commissioning of this Project is scheduled for the final quarter of 2024.

The growth in electricity generation of renewables has been due to rapid technology improvements and decreasing costs of producing renewable energy resources. Given the leading role that hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources is poised to play in the energy transition, there is opportunity by industry players to embrace hydrogen in the creation of a sustainable downstream industry. In this regard, the Government is positioning Trinidad and Tobago to become a leader in this transformative technology known as Green Hydrogen as part of its energy transition, once the cost factor and its restrictions can be overcome.

Oil and gas resources are wasting assets and therefore it is imperative that efficient exploitation is undertaken to maximize their contribution to sustainable economic development. In the oil and gas sector collaboration is especially important due to the high cost and long lead times associated with oil and gas advancements.

Our small nation has been able to boost our economy by becoming a significant global player in the energy industry.  Boasting over 100 years of experience and expertise developed from the oil and gas industry, which has been valued by energy companies operating in Trinidad and Tobago and by developing oil and gas economies which have sought to model their industries on our experience. We are no stranger to an energy transition as the largest oil and natural gas producer in the Caribbean, and as our energy sector moved from an oil-dominant to a mostly natural gas-based sector in the early 1990s.

We have successfully maintained our position in an evolving energy market through the fostering of strong relationships with our upstream developers, downstream industry players, and an energy services industry that is on par with those of developed petroleum economies.

With increasing pressure on the oil and gas industry from all quarters, there is a need for collaboration for effective and efficient delivery. It is a philosophy that we as a Government of an oil and gas producing country have taken on board. In our current Model Production Sharing Contract, for the efficient conduct of Petroleum Operations, provision has been made for the sharing of energy infrastructure by approved operators subject to appropriate arrangements.

More recently, in a landmark agreement the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Atlantic LNG Shareholders, Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited, BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC and the State-owned National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited executed an Agreement on the restructuring of the current Atlantic LNG facilities into a single utilized facility, which is not only a more efficient arrangement but also will result in significantly improved revenue to the Government.

It is with the recognition, that collaboration is an imperative, Trinidad and Tobago has stepped up our efforts to formally engage with our regional partners towards development of economic co-operation in the energy sector. In this regard, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago was executed on July 2023. Cross-functional Technical teams led by Staatsolie and National Energy have since been established to advance the implementation of the MOU in various key areas such as gas production and export; renewable energy and capacity building. Notably, we have also actioned our MOU with the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana through the formation of a High-Level Bilateral Commission between Trinidad and Guyana.

As a small island developing nation, Trinidad and Tobago must, out of necessity, engage with the rest of the world and particularly our regional neighbours, as we continue to build and strengthen our economy. High on our agenda has been the development of economic co-operation in the energy sector.  To this end we have executed unitization agreements with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Government of Barbados and the Government of Grenada, which will allow for the exploration of hydrocarbon resources in the maritime boundaries shared with these countries.

As a country with more than hundred years in the oil and gas business we are open to collaborating with our regional neighbours in the development of the region’s hydrocarbon resources, through the sharing of our knowledge, expertise and infrastructure in commercial activity. Linking the energy and industrial transformations enabled by the energy transitions to a broader economic co-operation would help to ensure that the region makes the most out of its hydrocarbon resources.

Events of this nature such as the recently held Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference, the current Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo and the Suriname Energy, Oil and Gas Summit and Exhibition which is carded for June 4 -7, 2024 these are vehicles which bring us all together with a central objective of advancing the development of the regions’ hydrocarbons for the benefits of its stakeholders. I am confident that our deliberations at the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo will further advance this objective.

In closing, I wish to thank the Co-operative Government of the Republic of Guyana for the opportunity to deliver these remarks to this distinguished audience.

I wish all participants a successful experience.