Guyana oil industry should not be Trinidad’s ‘next meal’ – Persaud

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud

Former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud has shot down a suggestion made over the weekend by Trinidad and Tobago’s Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, saying ‘Guyana is not here to bailout’ the twin-island republic. He also cautioned the Guyana Government regarding a soon to be signed cooperation pact which could see TT companies getting a foothold in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry.

Over the weekend, Persad-Bissessar urged Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to pursue a partnership with neighbouring Guyana to refine its oil in order to avert the closure of the Petrotrin refinery.

However, the former Guyanese minister was not having it, calling the Trinidad state-owned oil company a failed enterprise.

“Madame Opposition Leader of TT do not look to Guyana to bailout a failed enterprise -Petrotrin refinery. Your track record as PM, in relation to treatment of Guyanese and trade in Guyanese products, is appalling as your predecessors and successor. Guyana’s oil and gas industry, as I have said before, should not be TT or anyone’s next meal,” Persaud told OilNOW on Sunday.

“Do remember none or even limited opportunities were given to Guyanese during TT’s 110 years plus as an oil and gas producer.  Guyana will neither be the bogey-man in your political gambits nor be allowed to be only the convenient rainy-day friend because we are to be the next largest oil and gas economy of the Caribbean,” he said.

Persaud said he wishes the people in Trinidad’s oil and gas sector well, “But as TT has always demonstrated, our people’s interest comes first. Only we – Guyanese, will determine the course of our oil and gas sector.”

Warning bells

Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago Franklin Khan disclosed that Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are soon to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation. It is yet unknown what the details of the MoU are.

However, Persaud urged the Guyana Government to consider the ramifications of such a commitment. “I do urge the Government of Guyana to be cautious in making long-term commitments so as not to tie our hands and limit our options in oil refining, gas for energy production and other related aspects,” he said.

Noting that an MoU was signed back in 2013 between the two countries, Persaud said that the Granger administration should seek to ensure that the collaboration leads to the improvement of Guyana’s petroleum sector. He said the focus of any such agreement should be development of local capacity “and rolling out a sound, practical local content framework for Guyanese and Guyanese businesses’ participation in the short-term in upstream and midstream oil and gas activities.”

However he expressed the hope that Trinidad is not using the MoU as a Trojan horse.

“Hopefully, this new MoU is not being used as a ruse by TT government to promote TT domination of services in Guyana to the oil and gas sector given the failings of its own energy sector,” Persaud stated.

He said that Guyana is already witnessing the “massive” encroachment by TT businesses to lock-down services to the emerging oil and gas sector under the pretext of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

10 COMMENTS

  1. I would agree with Mr Persaud on this point. Trinidad firms have the lions share of support service business’s in the present O & G development and this is because they are there. Guyanese firms need the legislation passed as quickly as possible before the Phase I is all Trinidad firms.

  2. Well said by the minister! Let TT join Venezuela for a bailout as they conveniently signed big gas deal with Venezuela. I am tired of the good natured spirit of Guyanese ppl towards our Caribbean neighbors.Only to see alot of them do not Express any goodwill towards we Guyanese! Now we found all them are looking to piggyback on us.I say to hell with all of them and is time that Guyana leaves that useless body called Caricom!

  3. Trinidadian cooperate so easily to bar out Guyanese so that they can only get labourer jobs. Guyanese have to hide and disguise in Trinidad just to make a living. No Guyanese can register a business as easy as a Trinidadian businessman can register his business in Guyana. Guyanese have to go to watch cricket and can never wave a Guyanese flag (Those flag you see being waved are from visitors). Every forum or chat site if a man wants to low talk another he refers to him as a Guyanese (Like yu a Guyanese or what…lol) They harass you unnecessarily at the immigration. Your Children cannot get into schools. The immigration continuously hunts down illegal Guyanese in order to get bribes. There are hundreds of cases of Guyanese women being abused by policemen and cannot report it anywhere because of the fare of being deported, only for the abuse being repeated at a later date by a different policeman. The Government of Guyana (past and present) have never look into the interest of their own people but continue to live on race hate (this happens for both of the races by the different government).
    You all need to live here to know it……………………and now only to see the PP Government in the past giving farmlands to Trinidadian businessmen. And now the present Government making it a freeway for the Oil Businesses to do business in Guyana, and bring in their own employees, and whenever they hire Guyanese they pay them about 25% of the pay they would pay a Trinidadian for a similar job. The money can never be turned over in Guyana to better the Guyana economy. Because it all goes out of the country. Now the stupid Guyanese are also selling their properties in prime areas to the Trinidad Businesses. Its a slow takeover and we are not seeing it. Imagine simple contracts like brokerage is being contracted out to a Trinidad Business.
    The Government of Guyana needs to take 1 million USD from the 18 Million and invest it into transforming one of the empty buildings into a training facility strictly for those unskilled jobs.
    The whole situation makes people so stressed and hopeless in the current governmen and from talking to Guyanese living in Guyana presently, it tells you that no one has any hope at all that the oil will or can help them in any way.
    People need employment.

  4. Sing Alleluia for Robert. He couldn’t have said it better and I wish this article would be read by every single Guyanese. This is not about paying Trinidadians back for mistreating Guyanese for years and years and years, including Caribbean Airways and their ‘super fare’ for the Guyana run. This is not about Kamla declaring to CARICOM the year she took office that T&T was not the region’s bailout fund or breadbasket. This is not about T&T’s immigration officers hauling every Guyanese they lay hands on into their detention center for 6 – 8 months, and having the detainees pay their own deportation fare back to Guyana. No, not at all. This is only about that old idiom – Be nice to People on your way UP for it’s the same people you meet on your way DOWN!
    Robert Persaud hit the nail bang on the head.

    • On the contrary,he should be the last to say anything .. Regent St. Has turned into China Town because of the previous administration he was a part of

  5. Guyana should never yield to Trinidad suggestion to refine our OIL. We are not their Scape Goats. We have not forgetting how they treated our citizen inhumanely???

    Yasodra

  6. Y’all ungrateful asf……it’s a good thing we don’t even w any any of this and this is just a opposition leader looking for political gain…..Exxon Mobil is good man loot Guyana if it doesn’t get good guidancetho

  7. Did guyana pay back the $500 million US that they owed TT during the godfather Williams “money is no problem” years? Trinidad frittered away millions to Caribbean states because of the 1973 oil crisis. Did any nation repay T&T as yet?

  8. The sad part about this is what ever hidden agenda trinidad has they just might be helpful towards the Guyanese ppl..it was never Trinidad’s duty to look out for Guyana their resources doesn’t belong to Guyana..in the case of Guyana discovering oil and the tables have turned Guyana has absolutely NO knowledge of the oil and gas business..even though Trinidadians somewhat squandered their oil money they still have the experience in the oil business not just on the economic side but on the services side fabricating oil rigs,building them,oil exploration,oil bunkering,downstream production

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