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Enill: T&T oil not US$50


Contrary to public perception the average price paid for local oil is only US$32.08 per barrel. This was revealed by Minister in the Ministry of Finance Conrad Enill at a media conference at the Eric Williams Finance Building yesterday.

On the world market over the last few weeks prices have crossed US$50.

Enill said oil prices were determined by the quality of the oil and the amount of sulphur content and where it has been pumped.

He said over the last year of the 40 bpTT shipments none sold for US$50 and only three were above US$45.

“T&T mix of higher priced Galeota Crude and lower priced Petrotrin Crude yields an average annual realised price of US32.08 over 2003-04 fiscal year,” he said.

Enill addressed the issue of bpTT’s decrease in Government’s tax take from bpTT by US$163 million ($1 billion) and the effect on revenue and Government’s spending.

He said while bpTT’s contribution was down, other taxes such as corporate tax were up.

In the past it has been reported that natural gas revenues has been greater than oil.

Although Enill could not say how much revenue was generated by natural gas this year, he did say Government was looking at gas to determine if on its own can generate a greater return.

In last year’s budget Prime Minister Patrick Manning said the natural gas tax regime was supposed to be completed January of this year.

Although this did not come to pass Enill said they now have the information needed to address the proposed regime.

While he eluded any questions on the budget itself he did say a natural gas reference price would be provided.

Meanwhile, Enill admitted the International Monetary Fund had concerns how the Government was spending its money.

Enill said after showing representatives from the IMF the accounts at the T&T Central Bank and PSIP spending the representatives were satisfied there was no need to worry.

©2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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