Sunday, February 18, 2018

‘Decline in oil output stopped’

Minister: Increased investment in sector


Direct foreign investment in the oil and gas sector increased from US$549 million to US$2.5 billion between 2010 and 2012, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine disclosed yesterday. 

Responding to a question in the Senate from Independent Senator David Small, Ramnarine said under the current administration the decline in oil production had been stabilised. 

He said, in 2013, oil production averaged 81,200 barrels a day. 

“This is a decline over the 2012 figure of 81,700 barrels per day by 0.7 per cent. This compares to an average decline of 8.7 per cent per annum for the period 2006 to 2012. This means that we have for all intents and purposes stabilised the decline in oil production.”

Ramnarine said taxes from oil and gas had increased from $17.8 billion in 2010 to $20 billion in 2013. 

He added that these figures did not take into account corporation tax paid by companies at Point Lisas. 

The minister said the dramatic increase in exploration and production-related activity in the oil and gas industry had come following the Government’s move to reform the fiscal regime that governed the energy sector. 

“Energy industry leaders have told me that the changes in the last four years should have been implemented a decade ago, but there was stasis and ambivalence in energy policy for the period 2002 to 2010,” he said.

“The restructured capital allowance and revised taxation regime...over the period 2010 to 2014 have led to increased investment in the energy sector, increased activity and increased revenue from taxes.”

In response to another question, Ramnarine said the Standing Committee on Energy held one meeting in 2010, five meetings in 2011, two meetings in 2012 and five meetings in 2013.  

He said the committee was an advisory, not decision-making body, which met only when it needed to.

Ramnarine also said the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs had developed a new Strategic Plan (2012-2016). 

In order to facilitate the implementation of the plan, the ministry was reviewing its organisational structure. 

He said the new organisational structure will be a modification of the structure approved in 2009 and will be completed by June 2014. 

Ramnarine said the restructuring of the ministry was designed to achieve: a) the enhancing of the capability of the ministry to better execute its core function, including its regulatory role under the Petroleum Act; b) to foster strong and productive stakeholder relationships; c) the improvement of business processes to enhance operational efficiency and service delivery excellence and d) alignment of the organisation with its strategic intent.