An international report is claiming that Trinidad and Tobago loses an estimated $200 million dollars a year in tax revenues from international oil companies.
The report which was conducted by the anti-corruption agency 'Publish What You Pay', claims that giants like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Tullow Oil establish subsidiaries in Caribbean territories to exploit loopholes in the tax systems.
The agency claims the main purpose of these subsidiaries being planted in Caribbean countries is to secure “treaty benefits” that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries says it has received a report of a possible leak on a 6-inch diameter pipeline from Platform 9 to Riser Platform 2, Main Soldado Field, Petrotrin Trinmar Operations.
The ministry says the leak was immediately isolated.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the ministry noted that early this morning, an assessment was undertaken by Petrotrin Trinmar Operations HSE personnel aboard the vessel, the Gulf Command, and the spill was estimated to be 95% sheen and 5% brown patches.
Petrotrin says it is not associated with oil that has been sighted along Alexander Street in San Fernando.
Petrotrin said the source of oil has remained a mystery for over a decade but notes that it does not have any installations in that area.
Petrotrin issued the following statement on Thursday;
"Following reports of oil being observed along Alexander Street in San Fernando, personnel from Petrotrin’s Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Department visited the area and are conducting investigations.
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) says that no oily substance was found at the Cocorite Fish Landing Facility and in the waters in its immediate vicinity.
The two agencies say in a joint-statement that this was one of the key observations of a surveillance exercise conducted this morning by a joint team comprising representatives of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA).
The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago is hoping for a speedy conclusion to the investigations into allegations of fraud involving the sale of oil to Petrotrin.
The Chamber says it hopes appropriate action is then taken.
It issued the following statement today:
"The Energy Chamber is very concerned about the allegations being made about fraud in the transfer and sale of oil from A&V Drilling to Petrotrin.
Oil prices climbed on Monday, pushing futures to their highest levels in more than a month, as expectations grow for an extension to the OPEC-led production cut agreement into the first quarter of next year.
June West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 32 cents, or 0.6%, at $50.64 a barrel.
The contract expires at the session’s end, with July crude which traded at $51.04, up 37 cents, or 0.7%, set to become the front-month contract. July Brent crude LCON7, +0.65% the global benchmark, rose 24 cents, or 0.5%, to $53.85 a barrel.
British oil giant BP rebounded back into net profit in the first quarter, energised by deep cost-cutting and rising crude prices, the group revealed on Tuesday (May 2).
Earnings after taxation stood at US$1.45 billion (€1.33 billion) in the first three months of 2017, which contrasted with a net loss of US$583 million during the first quarter of 2016.
Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea crude averaged US$54.61 in the first quarter, up 55 per cent year-on-year.