Category Archives: Oil and Gas

Let them eat ‘old batteries’

By Raffique Shah
January 25, 2021

Raffique ShahIn my column last week, I questioned why the Government thought was necessary to exclude from scrutiny of the relevant authority details of Government to Government contracts. The point I was trying to make is that citizens almost instinctively do not trust politicians, especially when they are in office. Because countries like Trinidad and Tobago have been mired in allegations of corruption on a huge scale that spans different parties in power, suspicions of corruption will cloud every expenditure a government incurs, which leaves little room for getting things done.
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Mr. Politician, Sah

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2021

Raffique ShahThe urgency with which this nation must address the issues that threaten to throw us back into the Stone Age cannot be over-emphasised. We were already in deep trouble when Covid-19 struck with pandemic force in early 2020, sending us reeling from blows to the body, the mind, even the spirit. The energy and petrochemicals sectors faced grim circumstances, the availability of natural gas, the key feedstock of the latter’s operations, being of grave concern, and the markets for their products saturated and dampened.
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Periscope on Budget

By Raffique Shah
October 05 2020

Raffique ShahI am hopeful that Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s Budget 2021 will remain open to ideas that may come from ordinary citizens or professionals or anyone else even after he will have presented it to Parliament tomorrow. This is no ordinary Appropriation Bill. It is, or ought to be, an extraordinary document that contains the sum total of citizens’ prescriptions for rescuing and resuscitating an economy that has been battered and bruised by several governments over the past, say, forty years, and rendered semi-comatose by blows from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela

By Vijay Prashad and Érika Ortega-Sanoja
August 10, 2020 – venezuelanalysis.com

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair (CounterPunch)On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Venezuela. Appearing before the committee was U.S. State Department Special Representative Elliott Abrams. Abrams, who has had a long—and controversial—career in the formation of U.S. foreign policy, was assaulted by almost all the members of the Senate committee. The senators, almost without exception, suggested that Abrams had been—since 2019—responsible for a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro.
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Do not squander this opportunity

By Raffique Shah
May 26, 2020

Raffique ShahIf there is substance to the saying that in every crisis there are opportunities, then the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered spectacularly, if only we the inhabitants of the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago would recognise them for what they are, grab them, and infuse them into the post-pandemic recovery narrative and action plans, just so we understand they may never be on offer again.
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Young’s tragic blunder

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 18, 2020

If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.

—Abraham Lincoln

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI thought the expeditious manner in which the Prime Minister and his party handled the coronavirus pandemic rescued their fortunes and gave their supporters reason to believe the PNM would focus on the needs of ordinary people, albeit by circumstances rather than by choice.

Then the unravelling came. Without even being pushed, the Minister of National Security uttered the most unbelievable statements of his career and, by extension, the Government in which he serves. Inexplicably, he continues to do so in the face of evidence to the contrary.
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Compassion and consumer power

By Raffique Shah
May 12, 2020

Raffique ShahBased on comments I’ve heard or read in the media on the likely economic realities that will confront us when Government eases the COVID-19 “lockdown”, I am worried about the future of Trinidad and Tobago. No one disputes that the country faces enormous problems, what with the near-collapse of the oil and gas sectors, the closure of several petrochemical plants in Point Lisas, and the absence of other export-driven industries that could earn substantial foreign exchange.
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After crisis food rationing?

By Raffique Shah
April 06, 2020

Raffique ShahWhen we will have overcome the COVID-19 multi-pronged attack on Trinidad and Tobago, we will face associated problems ranging from the economy under severe stress such as it has never been before, with unemployment at a crisis level, disruption of the education system leaving all stakeholders confused, and possible shortage of foods. Just when the population thought it was safe to exhale, having survived the deadliest pandemic in modern history, the bugle will sound summoning couch-and television-weary troops to do battle again, and likely yet again, for love of country.
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False and Misleading Expectations On Guyana’s Oil Bonanza

By Stephen Kangal
February 25, 2020

Stephen KangalIn a Statement delivered at the Opening of the Energy Conference recently Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley dishonestly sought to create false and misleading expectations in an election year namely that:

– T&T can gain continental shelf-access to and cash in on the huge hydrocarbon producing resources currently being exploited by Guyana, sometime in the future;
– by getting the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental to agree to extend the maritime limits of T&T beyond 200 miles measured from its straight archipelagic baselines promulgated in 1986 by Order in complete violation of the provisions of the 2006 T&T/Barbados Arbitral Tribunal Award, the 1993 TT/Venezuela Delimitation Agreement and the tenets of the 1986 Law of the Sea Convention.
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Reckless with our National Interests in Barbados

By Stephen Kangal
February 19, 2020

Stephen KangalIt was a catastrophic national disgrace in 2003 when former Prime Minister Patrick Manning allowed former Bajan PM Owen Arthur to unilaterally haul T&T before an International Tribunal that adjudicated on and established our bilateral EEZ maritime boundary. In the process the Tribunal ignored compelling legal precedent and allocated almost half of our legitimate and previously claimed maritime space to the exclusive jurisdiction and expanded maritime patrimony of Barbados in perpetuity.
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