- Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries
- Permanent Secretaries and officials of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago
- Colleagues from across the energy sector
- Chamber representatives
- Members of the media
- Other distinguished guests
Good afternoon. I’m so happy that so many of you could join us today to celebrate many important milestones that demonstrate BP’s commitment and confidence in Trinidad and Tobago. We have intentionally made this a government and industry event because we recognize that our achievements only occur with teamwork; and therefore, we would not be here today without our partnership with the government and industry colleagues.
BP Trinidad and Tobago has had a significant investment programme over the past five years because of our commitment to and confidence in the people of Trinidad & Tobago. Today you will hear about some some successes resulting from of our commitment. Bernard will provide the specifics of these successes but I would like to make a few contextual points.
I’ll start by stealing a quote from a well-known television program in the 1980s called the A team. One of the characters (Hannibal) would often say:
“I love it when a plan comes together.”
Today, I will supplement that quote by saying, “I love it when a plan comes together because of excellent teamwork.” What you will hear about today is the product of a carefully crafted and evolving strategy. While the creation of the strategy predates 2012, I am going to just go back five years for convenience. In 2012 BPTT embarked on an investment programme that would result in capital expenditure of approximately US$5 billion over five years. Through significant economic changes, a challenging gas supply/demand environment and a change in government, that plan has been executed. This is my first important point, despite changes in the external environment we are staying the course and executing a strategy that is working. This has been enabled by successive governments who have worked with us in partnership for the good of Trinidad & Tobago. We saw this first hand recently when the honourable prime minister met with us in Houston. On the back of excellent ground work done by the NGC and Energy Task Force chaired by Mr. Mottley, the Honourable Prime Minister provided strong and necessary direction for the closure of difficult negotiations, and did it in a way that undoubtedly put the people of Trinidad & Tobago first. So today is also a celebration of a functioning democracy that continues to punch above its weight in the energy industry. This is another important point.
What we are celebrating here today is of vital importance to BP. I am honoured to have Bernard and Andy here to share in our celebrations because it highlights the fact that we are also delivering on our commitment to the BP Group. It is important to recognize how important the Trinidad Region is to BP’s commitments.
Bernard will say more about this but I will remind you that our continued confidence in T&T supported by a spirit of partnership with the government is why we announced a few weeks ago that BP will invest a further $5-$6b in Trinidad over the next five years. This should not be confused with prior announcements quoting similar amounts.
For those of you keeping count, that will mean that from 2012 to 2022, we will have invested US$10b in BP’s Trinidad business – even with continued predictions of depressed hydrocarbon prices. The predictions lead me to another extremely important point. The successes we will announce today do not mean that we are out of the woods with regards to the economy. Although there will be improvements in gas supply it will not entirely eliminate gas curtailments and revenue generation for the country will continue to be a challenge. So, we still have a lot of work to do, as a team. And the need for teamwork as I have already highlighted is an extremely important point. As a country, our spears must be pointed outwards. BP is committed and I am personally committed to working with the government to ensure that these successes translate to tangible benefits to the citizens of Trinidad & Tobago, even during difficult economic times.
My final point is of extreme importance. We would not be celebrating today if the many workers who have worked on these projects had not done so safely. The most important thing to us is that everyone who works with us gets home safely. As I have said publicly on multiple occasions, no amount of money is worth injury to those who work with us. I am therefore proud to say that the activities we highlight today, which account for millions of man-hours of work have been delivered without a single lost-time incident.
I hope you can tell that I have great confidence in BP’s future in T&T and I have great confidence in the people of Trinidad & Tobago. Thank you to all who made today possible.
I will now hand you over to Bernard who will share some important news with you.
• Thank you, Minister, for sharing your thoughts with us.
• I know that Minister Khan’s mantra is “if you don’t go looking for oil and gas you’re not going to find it.”
• Absolutely right – and the way we look for it is changing fast. These latest discoveries owe a lot to recent investments that we have made in state of the art seismic acquisition and processing.
• They show that that even after 55 years of operations the Columbus Basin still has more to give with the right technology being applied.
• As I have said before, there has never been any doubt about the hydrocarbon potential of what’s below the surface here in Trinidad.
• Working above the surface, with all stakeholders from community, to suppliers, government officials and strategic partners, we are able to be here to celebrate today.
• It is clear that all stakeholders across the industry understand that now is the time to join forces and work together to make T&T more competitive in a fast-changing world.
• As a further sign of our partnership with Trinidad & Tobago I am restating my commitment to working with the government and stakeholders to establish a framework which helps local fabrication and suppliers compete for work in the development of these new discoveries.
• Maintaining an attractive and competitive investment climate is critical to keep BP and other Upstream players investing here and to ensure the long-term future of this country’s energy sector.
• If we are going to shore up production to meet current and future demand, the investments in the upstream need to keep coming and, as we say in the industry, “the drill bit needs to keep turning”.
• I would echo Bernard’s sentiments in expressing BP’s deep commitment to Trinidad and Tobago.
• The recently completed gas contract negotiations have brought clarity to the financial frame of our business in Trinidad. The agreements have given us confidence and certainty, which are both important for future investments. I thank the NGC for the spirit of cooperation that they brought to the negotiating table.
• I also wish to recognize the work of the Energy Task Force chaired by Wendell Mottley which also helped to bring clarity to some key government policy decisions. Both of these were important pre-requisites to the sanction of Angelin.
• We have much to celebrate today and while there is still a lot of work ahead of us I wish to offer my sincerest gratitude to all of you here today.
• BPTT would not have achieved these milestones without the cooperation of our partners in the Upstream, the many service providers who have worked alongside us to deliver these projects, the communities of Mayaro and La Brea and, of course, NCG and National Energy, the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, the Environmental Management Authority and by extension the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
• So, once again, thank you for sharing in our celebration today, it is not often that we take the time to reflect on the progress we are making as a company and as an industry. I thank you for your efforts in helping us to achieve the milestones which we are highlighting this afternoon and I look forward to continued partnerships.
• As we close I invite you to stick around and enjoy some refreshments with us and on Bernard’s behalf I would like to apologize that he needs to make a quick exit as he has a plane to catch this evening.