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Petrotrin must change -energy minister

 

 

 

By Geisha Kowlessar

PORT SPAIN
Petroleumworld 06 26 2018

If you don't have deep pockets then go.

This was the clear, bold message from Energy Minister Franklin Khan sent to beleaguered State-owned energy company Petrotrin.

“This is business about money. This is a business about capital. This is a business about deep pockets and if your pockets are not deep...get out.

“Where the capital is to come from is yet to be seen. All I will say is the State has no money to give them. They have generated no working capital so it's one source of capital....private capital,” Khan said in his at the opening of the Society of Petroleum Engineers' T&T Energy Conference and Exhibition 2018 at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain yesterday.

Khan, a former employee of Petrotrin, admitted: “I feel great pain to see the state of the company.”

The company currently produces 40,270 barrels a day, almost 60 per cent of the total domestic oil production but there have been a steady decline, which the minister blamed on limited exploration activities due to financial constraint and asset integrity issues.

He said under the watch of the current administration and his personal watch Petrotrin is going to change

There are four components to this change, he explained, including new leadership, which is being worked on, new technology, direct skills sets and significant new capital investment.

If the company does not focus on its core skills sets, he warned, there is no room for success. There must be a robust plan for recruitment and training.

Khan later confirmed to the media that his “get out” statements the minister was directed at Petrotrin.

“To turn it around you have to invest heavily and to invest heavily you need capital. Normally oil companies generate working capital from their own profits and oil companies very rarely borrow.

“Petrotrin's major dilemma is lack of capital. Even though we succeed in getting our costs down and bring it more in line with industry standards there is still a need for major capital injection and that's the current challenge we face...how we will get that capital,” Khan added.

Responding to claims by the OWTU's that some 2000 workers will be sent home following the restructuring exercise Khan said this was untrue.

“Nobody said we are sending home 2000 workers. The board is currently working on a restructuring exercise and it is still incomplete. I have not been informed as to the details of the plans as yet,” he said.

Pressed further, Khan said there might very well be “fallouts on various fronts.”

“I'm not sure what form or fashion it will take but we have empowered the board to act appropriately. One of the problems of this country is we jump ahead of ourselves,” he said.

________________________

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Story by Geisha Kowlessar from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

guardian.com.tt
06 26 2018

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