BPTT to continue investing in T&T

Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 20:00

BPTT says it will continue investing in this country, despite the downturn in energy prices.

BPTT's President, Norman Christie gave the assurance as he addressed the opening of the 2016 Energy Conference this morning.

The following is a media release by BPTT: 

"BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) is continuing to invest in Trinidad and Tobago despite the downturn in energy prices. 

“It is encouraging to hear that despite low energy prices, there is much activity in the Upstream,” said Norman Christie, bpTT President in his remarks at the opening of the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference. 
Acknowledging that the industry has seen energy prices plummet by approximately 70% over the past 18 months, the bpTT President reinforced that the downturn presented a good opportunity to make future focused energy policy decisions, “No matter how tough the environment gets we must always learn the lessons of the past and try our hardest not to repeat them. 

We have built a world class petrochemical and LNG business in T&T and to feed this machine, the Upstream needs to be consistently investing, drilling, exploring and collaborating to maintain what is a pretty significant supply of gas to our customers.” 

It is imperative therefore that energy policy continues to incentivize investment.

Understanding that over 250,000 in the industry have lost their jobs as a result of the low price environment, Christie noted that bpTT planned to continue investing while, like others in the industry, has to make difficult decisions to improve efficiency and remain competitive. 

“Yes we (at bpTT) have had to make very hard decisions on how we manage costs but we are trying to make those decisions while preserving future opportunities and we are doing our best to maintain investment levels once the investment climate remains attractive.

Balancing our cheque book in the low price environment in the quickest time possible, is necessary for the sustainability of our operations and necessary for Trinidad & Tobago.”
Reinforcing the point of planned continued activity, Christie noted that bpTT had spent US$1.5Billion in Trinidad and Tobago in 2015 and planned to continue activity in 2016 while making adjustments in line with the environment, “As a testament to our confidence in the future, we spent close to US$1.5 billion in 2015 and if the above the surface conditions are right, we will spend more than that in 2016 despite the significant negative impact of prices on our earnings and cash flow.

“Once the environment remains competitive and Trinidad and Tobago "Welcome Mat" stays open to us, the company will continue works on the Juniper field development, continue to progress plans for future new field development and continue an aggressive drilling and exploration programme in 2016. 
Speaking on the opportunities of the downturn, Christie noted that bpTT saw the low price environment as an opportunity for collaboration stating in line with managing costs and improving efficiency: 

“While 3rd party cost reductions are necessary we have sought to engage our contractors in the spirit of partnership, and work together to identify opportunities for greater efficiency,” he said. 

Further, bpTT sees the necessary organizational changes as a result of the downturn as an opportunity to further nationalize the workforce and to continue local content efforts with “…particular focus on retaining value in Trinidad & Tobago."
The company remains confident about the hydrocarbon potential of the Columbus Basin, but repeated a message it has shared before about competitiveness “As you have heard many times in this conference “below the surface things look cautiously optimistic” but above the surface we have some work to do to ensure that as a country we continue to incentivise the development of our natural resources and at the right pace."
“We are focussed on the future and view (the future) with optimism.  

All commodities have a price cycle and therefore we need to be focused on managing wisely through the down cycle but being prepared to take advantage of opportunities in the upcycle.”

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