Vincent Pereira, Chairman of the Energy Chamber and President of BHP Billiton, Trinidad and Tobago said the challenges of the current low price environment makes it even more important that the energy industry has a single-minded focus on competitiveness.
Noting that many major companies in the global oil and gas industry were cutting their capital investment budgets and cancelling or delaying major projects, Pereira said so far projects in Trinidad and Tobago have not been cut.
“But with expenditure constantly under review there is no guarantee that this will remain the case,” Pereira said on the first day of the Energy Chamber’s Energy Conference.
He predicted that the face of the industry is likely to change because of the current low price environment and anticipated changes will be brought about by both mergers and acquisitions and by changing geopolitics.
Decline in global prices also came on top of the continuing shortages in gas supply to both Atlantic and industrial plants in Point Lisas and which has been putting a major strain on the gas dependent industry.
Total gas production in 2014 was around 6% down on 2010, the peak year for production, during a time when ammonia, methanol and LNG were all receiving good prices on international markets.
Pereira encouraged continued work on new gas master plan which he described as a vital piece of work for the sustainability of the gas industry and the entire economy of Trinidad and Tobago.
Norman Christie, Regional President, BPTT also supported commitment on the gas master plan which he lauded as an “important precursor” to policies that could impact future investment decisions.
“For investment decisions to be made, investors need some sort of certainty on the future plans for the gas based industries on the island,” he added.
Speaking about the rapid decrease in energy prices, Christie said it dealt a hard blow to the global energy market and that Trinidad and Tobago was not immune to it.
“Prices are down, but our sector can be resilient if we stay focused on the long-term while dealing with short-term challenges,” he said, adding that global oil and gas companies were revisiting plans and making tough decisions to ensure long term viability.
“I do believe that it would be wise for us to contemplate lower prices sticking around for a while,” Christie said.