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Petrotrin Chairman mum on energy company A&V report


By Radhica Sookraj

Petroleumworld 05 07 2018

Petrotrin Chairman Wilfred Espinet yesterday sidestepped questions about the energy company's system for calculating crude oil and the authenticity of a supplemental internal audit report which attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj claims vindicates A&V Oil and Gas.

Quizzed by reporters as he left a business seminar hosted by the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber yesterday, Espinet said he did not understand the questions being asked..

Pressed on the validity of the audit report, Espinet said: “There are many reports. Petrotrin has reports almost every month. What you are speaking about? I am not clear. What is the point?

“Are you saying that Mr Maharaj is saying he has an argument against something?”

Told that the report contained troubling conclusions about the measurements used by Petrotrin to calculate crude oil volumes, Espinet responded: “What is it you are trying to achieve? What is Mr Maharaj hoping to achieve? I am hoping that he doesn't want you to do it for him. He is a big lawyer. I am hoping he would do it himself.

“As I said, we have a number of reports and I can show you several reports that go back to 1996. I don't know what legitimate and authentic means. I have to run. You are not making any sense to me. What you are asking doesn't make sense to me.

“Let me ask you a question. If Maharaj has an issue, Maharaj is a very competent lawyer and he would find a legal way of adjudicating the process. I don't know what he is attempting to do. I cannot go into Mr Maharaj's head. He is the one who has to answer that.”

He then walked off and refused to take further questions.

The report which Maharaj believes can vindicate A&V purportedly states that Petrotrin's measurements of the volume of crude oil supplied by independent contractors was inaccurate and unreliable because its employees repeatedly failed to adhere to standard operating procedures.

A&V is accused of inflating oil volumes and defrauding Petrotrin of more than $100 million.

Maharaj has not made the contents of the supplemental audit public but said it provides recommendations on the energy company's poor crude collection, sampling, treating and measuring procedures, as well as employees' lack of training, inadequate management oversight and inadequate tankage.

Maharaj said he has sent the report to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Energy Minister Franklin Khan.

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Story by Radhica Sookraj from Trinidad & Tobag0 Guardian
05 05 2018

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