Ramnarine: Big hike in LNG price
Ria Taitt Political Editor
After 13 years in natural gas exportation, Trinidad and Tobago is finally getting the proper value for its LNG supplies.
Energy Minister Kelvin Ramnarine disclosed yesterday in the budget debate in the Senate that Trinidad and Tobago had begun marketing its LNG on much better terms than previously applied.
On one cargo alone, the National Gas Company (NGC) earned revenue of US$25 million, whereas under the previous marketing arrangement it would have earned US$4.3 million for the same cargo, he said.
Ramnarine said, previously all LNG cargoes were marketed by BPGM, a trading company owned by BP Global. He said last August NGC served notice (giving the statutory one-year notice) that it was decontracting that arrangement.
He said on August 17, 2012 the NGC sold a cargo of 118,000 cubic metres through a bidding process using a trading company called Gunvor (which has offices in Singapore and Geneva).
He said through the bidding process, NGC obtained a price of $9.25 per mmbtu getting US$25 million, “over US $20 million more in incremental revenue” than under the previous arrangement.
“After 13 years, the citizens working at NGC have gone where on one has gone before. ... Now NGC is marketing the energy cargoes which it rightfully owns under Train Four,” he said, adding that the chairman of NGC at the time that the decontracting arrangement was negotiated was Larry Howai, now Finance Minister.
Ramnarine said an analysis was done of how much money was lost from the BP arrangement between 2009 and 2012. He said some US$120 million or close to TT$800 million was lost under the old arrangement.
He noted that Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley was part of the Cabinet which had given the marketing contract to BP.
Noting that in countries like Qatar the Government is involved in the marketing of its gas, Ramnarine said in Trinidad and Tobago there had been “very little involvement by the Government beyond Point Fortin”.
“This is a significant achievement of this administration,” he said, adding that the next shipment of natural gas was due in December.