It is my honour to take part in today’s event as we mark a very important milestone for Atlantic and for all stakeholders involved in the Atlantic restructuring negotiations.
The agreements we are signing today are a crucial and enabling step to unlocking Trinidad and Tobago’s energy future.This is no doubt a pivotal moment in the country’s energy development, and it comes at a time when it has never been clearer that the world needs more energy AND it needs energy that is clean, affordable and secure. For these reasons, natural gas will continue to play a crucial role in the energy mix for decades to come. We are witnessing increasing demand for natural gas because of current global events but the outlook for gas remains positive over the long-term as well.
Atlantic plays an important role as a global supplier of LNG. In fact, in 2021, according to bp’s statistical review of world energy markets, LNG cargos from Atlantic made their way to 18 countries overseas. The LNG industry is also crucial to Trinidad and Tobago’s economy and the definitive commercial terms which we are signing today bring us closer to a new commercial framework that will lay a strong foundation for the long-term future of Atlantic and the country’s LNG industry. This simplified ownership and commercial framework is important for a number of reasons;
It allows for market reflective pricing creating greater value for the country and shareholders – including the Government.It increases the government’s participation in the LNG value chain.
Clarity of commercial terms will be important to support continued investment in the upstream and the sanction of the next wave of upstream gas projects. And it allows Atlantic to focus on operating as efficiently and reliably as possible to maintain their own competitiveness as a world class LNG producer.
For bp, the signing of these agreements is very timely. We have just taken a final investment decision on our next gas development Cypre and we have a series of future potential gas developments and interest in progressing deepwater exploration and production. These commercial terms will support our ability to compete for capital within bp to further our investments in Trinidad and Tobago. This is an exciting time for the T&T energy sector and we at bp are proud to play our part in securing T&T’s energy future.
It is clear that the agreement is important but there is a wider message: The importance of collaboration.
We could not have come to this point without decisive leadership and close collaboration among all stakeholders. Honourable Prime Minister, thank you for your commitment, astute leadership and for trusting that we could agree a commercial framework that would be good for Trinidad and Tobago, Atlantic and its shareholders. These talks began long before I came into my current role, and I know that it has not always been smooth sailing. It rarely is when you are negotiating agreements as complex as this.
But yet here we are, making steps towards a future for Atlantic that will benefit Trinidad and Tobago and all of the stakeholders.
A big thank you to the commercial and legal teams who have been working on this for so long and to honourable Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young, Permanent Secretary Ms. Penelope Bradshaw Niles and Deputy Permanent Secretary Sandra Fraser who have been guiding the negotiation process from the very start. Well done!
Although my time in Trinidad and Tobago has not been very long, what is clear to me is that there is a commitment to collaboration on the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector, and this agreement - in fact the negotiating process - is a clear demonstration of that commitment.
We’re close but not quite there yet.I see this process like a race. We have done the hard work, but the race isn’t finished until we cross the line. And we must finish strong. I am therefore looking forward to completing this process with fully termed agreements in early 2023.
bp remains committed to taking this process across the line, and I am sure - so are all of the other stakeholders involved.