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TRINMAR CHALLENGE by Tony Bedassie

posted 11 Jul 2016, 04:33 by Gerry Kangalee
State owned Petrotrin has long signalled its intention to move away from Exploration and Production. Over a quarter century ago it began embarking upon farm out/lease out operations with companies such as Lease Operators benefiting from what was deemed low producing wells, some of which had been left dormant for many years. These wells were given to these private entities to work over and bring into production.

Prior to 1990, every oil well throughout our fields was painted in our colours. Nowadays there are many jacks and motorised pumping stations of various colours existing alongside our own. When one considers the age of the infrastructure in terms of pipe lines and other equipment associated with production, we must realise that the company is indeed challenged. Added to that, the cost of abandoning a well completely is a very costly exercise. An offshore well, of which there are approximately 200, costs about $17M to cap off.

Production sharing contracts have been a part of its operation for quite some time, though concentrated more so in the east and north coasts. The intent however seems to be the introduction of these farm out/lease out and production sharing contracts within the producing fields at Trinmar.

One remembers the announcement of a Jubilee find in our east field a couple of years ago which to date has added nothing to our production of indigenous crude. Coupled with the fact that the company has spent billions at the south west field, refurbishing it and drilling new wells without attaching one single flow line, and the picture becomes clearer.

Change is imminent; however, it must be done at a pace which can be accepted by the industry and its main stakeholders, the workers. Trinmar has long been treated as a step child. Our rates of remuneration are way below that of the wider Petrotrin and even now, as we work to rectify this, the oppression continues. There is however an equity clause within the company which requires that all workers be treated equitably and fairly. As we at Trinmar fight to preserve our rights and indeed bring ourselves in alignment with the parent company, we must remain cognizant of these facts.

Our labour leaders, too, seem to have their own agenda trying to convince us to accept inferior standards of remuneration. We must guard against this. We must ensure that our rights are not violated by either the company or our representatives. We must demand a say in how this process is being carried out. Sitting back idly may just result in signatures being attached to settlements which will be against our best interests.

We need strong and firm leadership at this time: leadership which cannot be deemed as being compromised through party affiliation and loyalty. Be informed and aware lest you fall victim of agendas which are not your own.
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