Trinidad a ‘viable option’ to refine Guyana’s oil, process natural gas – Rowley


By Vishani Ragobeer

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) has been an oil and gas producer for decades and with fewer resources utilising its massive energy plants nowadays, the country’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley believes that Guyana and other Caribbean countries can benefit from the country’s facilities.

“Investments in enabling infrastructure and technology can be costly, even to the point of being prohibitive.

“Trinidad and Tobago has the energy infrastructure to monetise energy hydrocarbon resources produced by its Caribbean neighbours and can do that now,” Dr. Rowley said at the opening ceremony of the International Energy Conference and Expo Guyana on Tuesday.

Talking up the country’s capacity, he said it has 10 ammonia plants, seven methanol plants, four liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and a sizable iron and steel complex. These facilities can process natural gas.

Further, he said the country has an oil refinery capable of processing about 140,000 barrels of oil daily. That facility is not being used and the Prime Minister said T&T is “exploring the market” for a use of the facility.

With these facilities, he believes the Twin Island Republic is more than capable of processing the natural resources (that is, the oil and gas) already found offshore Guyana and Suriname.

“Trinidad and Tobago, therefore, provides a viable option for those countries which seek to optimise the monetisation of their hydrocarbon resources without incurring substantial capital expenditure and not to mention, delay in monetisation,” he said.

T&T’s Energy Minister Stuart Young (right) listens to Guyana’s Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud make a point during a panel discussion at the energy conference (Photo: News Room/ February 14, 2023)

Dr. Rowley also championed regional cooperation in the energy sector. According to him, partnerships are crucial because no single country is capable of meeting the region’s energy security needs.

The Prime Minister’s statements come as Guyana is pursuing a massive Gas-to-Energy project that will harness the natural gas produced in the offshore Stabroek Block to fire a power plant and a natural gas liquids (NGL) facility. This project promises to slash local energy costs in half.

Guyana’s government has also invited bids for the construction of a 30,000-barrel per day oil refinery in Berbice, Region Six (East Coast Demerara).

Still, T&T representatives hold out that the experienced oil and gas producer would be a beneficial partner.

“We have the ability to convert that gas to ready commodities that the rest of the world is desperate for.

“The collaboration that can work there is right here in our region… we have first class, world class facilities,” T&T’s Energy Minister Stuart Young said during a panel discussion held later on Tuesday at the conference.

Asked by the News Room about concrete discussions on Guyana’s potential use of Trinidad’s facilities, Young only said that the two countries are in discussions.

He, however, noted that oil and gas are two separate resources with separate opportunities.

“There is an oil refinery that is available in Trinidad so those conversations will take place between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. I will leave the Government of Guyana to make their own comments on that.

“We have said it is available, we’ve been working closely with Guyana,” Young noted.

He added, “The future of gas between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago is an ongoing conversation and I’m sure at the appropriate time much more will be said.”

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