Government needs to recapture the bold spirit used to create the natural gas industry, BG group chief operating officer Martin Houston has said.
Houston, who was the first country president when the group first set up operations in Trinidad and Tobago in 1993, said when Government formed the National Gas Company and the National Energy Company, it showed it was prepared to stand between buyers and sellers to create a market, and that meant taking some risks.
"That intervention was important in a small place with few buyers and sellers to create this magnificent industry it is today. The next step (to move into the future) then may require some government. Or maybe not and we can leave it up to the market, but my proposition is maybe it's worth looking at," he said.
Houston was speaking to the media after BG Trinidad and Tobago's annual Energy Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad), Port of Spain, yesterday.
He said he was confident of the local industry's future in the face of the changing global natural gas landscape, and reaffirmed BG's presence and willingness to keep on investing in maintenance and exploration programmes in Trinidad and Tobago—including the company's recent bids in the 2012 Deepwater Bid Round "despite projections of dwindling proven resources".
"We've been in Trinidad for almost 20 years and we've always enjoyed a warm welcome, aligned and available governments, institutional capacity within the sector, and an excellent workforce. We've built a good business here and we want to maintain that into the future. I don't think it's for me to comment on (resource audits); am I confident about a future in Trinidad? Yes I am. There is a great symbiosis between what this country needs and what our shareholders need: which is a long-term sustainable future which is economically rational and sensible for both parties," he said.
He said the world had entered a "Golden Age" of natural gas.
"Trinidad and Tobago must position itself to maximise the benefits this opportunity will bring...This is a country that was at the nexus of the Atlantic basin's renaissance of LNG and I have every faith you will pay a crucial role in the evolving landscape as we move into the new phase. The winners won't necessarily be the most intelligent, but those who are the most adaptable," he said.