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PETROTRIN PRIVATISATION? By Tony Bedassie

posted 14 Dec 2016, 09:12 by Gerry Kangalee
Tony Bedassie is a Trinmar worker
Petrotrin is a significant consumer of foreign exchange due to its high reliance on imported crude with which it supplies the refinery. Increasing indigenous oil production will result in less imports and more revenue for the state through taxation.

As I write this, more than 100 offshore workers of Trinmar remain at the base due to a lack of Marine Transportation; this at a time when our already low oil production of 21,000 barrels per day is now at 16,500. One main compressor used for gas lifting the oil has been down since Friday. On Tuesday transportation was provided around midday. Workers got to their platforms but couldn't work due to a lack of an Emergency Response Vessel (ERV). On Wednesday we have a watered down ERV but no transport to go down. With the gas compressor down our system pressures fall requiring us to close in producing wells.

The justified, legal strike by workers of IOCL, our main supplier of Marine transport, is the cause of all this. One service provider, IOCL, is holding the entire country to ransom. No Marine transportation to take us offshore. Everything goes on as normal even though our equipment remains unchecked and in some cases, out of service.

One little contractor has reduced our production by 4000 barrels per day. That is 4000 barrels which we now have to import in order to maintain throughput. A serious drain on our foreign exchange while we are in turn being asked to pay taxes on online shopping in order to reduce the consumption of this said foreign exchange.

Yet to date there has been no address to the workers of Trinmar by the Management. There has been no decisive nor stop gap measures to improve the situation. What does that say? It means that as usual within the state enterprise we have square pegs in round holes, toothless bulldogs unable or unwilling to make decisions. I suspect the former.

I hope the nation is looking on. I hope they are observing the lack of seriousness from those entrusted to manage our assets. How can they say they care about the country and not do a thing to rectify this situation? Where is the Minister of Energy? Where is the Minister of Labour? Where is the Prime Minister? Where is the Opposition? Where is the MSJ? Where is Fixing T&T? All I hear is a massive silence as our country's economy continues its downhill slide. God help us!

Where is Impbert now? Where are the Economists now? Impbert is probably somewhere sitting in a tower with the economists knocking a glass and laughing at us peons.

It seems that governance and parliament is only for bickering over petty issues, even as we continue our downward spiral, not just as a company but also as a country.

The Government, the Board, the Management of Petrotrin…Is there no one with the strength, the foresight and vision to see that we are heading to a point of no return. One does not allow an entity with such a significant direct impact on government revenues to falter while sitting idle and doing nothing, except, of course, if they have another hidden agenda. Maybe that's what they want. Let it fail, so that they can justify closure and bringing in private ownership.
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