Stuart Young

Working together: Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy Stuart Young, left, is greeted by Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi at the Suriname Energy, Oil and Gas Summit & Exhibition (SEOGS), earlier this week.

Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname are on the verge of forging closer energy ties, based on discussions between officials of the two Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states.

President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy Stuart Young have held extensive discussions about a potential energy collaboration on the sidelines of the second Suriname Energy, Oil and Gas Summit & Exhibition (SEOGS), which ended on Tuesday.

Young said serious consideration will be given to how to intensify cooperation between the two countries, saying that “the oil and gas industry is one of the important areas to enter into a partnership”.

Trinidad and Tobago is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean. These natural resources account for about 40 per cent of the country’s GDP and 80 per cent of its exports.

Recent growth has been fuelled by investments in liquefied natural gas, with the twin-island republic transitioning from an oil to a natural gas-based economy.

Suriname’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation Albert Ramdin said Suriname could learn from Trinidad’s expertise.

“We discussed bilateral cooperation in general and cooperation in the field of energy, with a view to developments in the Surinamese oil and gas sector. We want to respond immediately,” he said, noting that T&T is a strong player in the oil and gas industry.

“We can learn from this and work together. The talks will continue next week when the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago will also be in Suriname to attend the Caricom Heads of Government Meeting.”

In his address during the SEOGS, Ramdin said the oil, and gas industries were important sectors for the Suriname economy that will contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country in a sustainable way.

“Visionary leadership is needed to create the spin-offs of cost-effective gas-based energy generation, such as new industrial complexes that will guarantee the continuity of food production, for example. And that leadership is there,” he said, identifying the host President and his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali among those with the leadership qualities and vision to take both countries to the next level.

On Monday, also on the sidelines of the conference, local State-owned energy companies, Heritage Petroleum and Paria Fuel Trading signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V, the state-owned Suriname energy company.

The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation among three of the top state-owned energy companies in the Caribbean region.

Energy Minister Stuart Young, who was at the signing,affirmed the opportunities for collaboration among the MoU parties.

“As Caricom partners, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname will work together to address the challenges to develop our energy sectors as well as those of our region. Our countries have an important role to play in energy security for the region. I look forward to a fruitful relationship and I am pleased that discussions have already commenced among the parties,” said Young.

Under the MoU, the Parties agreed to enter into discussions related to identifying mutually beneficial partnership opportunities under three broad areas- Exploration and Production (E&P); Trading and Marketing; and Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG).


T&T’s Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (HSF) declined by 15.14 per cent between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022, according to the two quarterly reports for the Fund for this year.

The HSF reports, which are published on the Ministry of Finance website, indicate that at the start of 2022, the value of the assets in the Fund totaled US$5.62 billion.

At the end of March 2022, the total net asset value of the HSF was US$5.29 billion, approximately US$323.63 million lower than the previous quarter’s closing value. And at the end of June 2022, the total net asset value of the HSF was US$4.77 bllion, approximately US$528 million lower than the previous quarter’s closing value of US$5,299.5 million.

FOUR months after the surprise departure of retired banking executive, Ian De Souza, as chief executive of the country’s largest business group, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, remains without a chief executive officer.

The Sunday Express understands that the country’s current principal medical officer (PMO) Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards has been head-hunted to become the new chief executive of the Chamber. As part of the country’s medical team, Dr Richards was a recipient of a Chaconia Medal Gold at the National Awards this year for Leadership in the Public Health Service, in particular her management of the parallel health system during the pandemic.

Minority Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kelvon Morris is up in arms over the THA’s decision to spend $1.7 million on a “stage in the sea” for Tobago’s inaugural Carnival, “while poor people in Tobago are crying and suffering”.

Responding to questions from Morris at yesterday’s sitting of the THA at the Legislature Building on Jerningham Street, Scarborough, Secretary of the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James disclosed that the final cost of the contract for the project was $1,758,350 “contingency included”.

IN A previous article, we began to explore the concept of carbon pricing as the Minister of Planning and Development had recently stated that such policies would be considered in Trinidad and Tobago. That article delved into the utilisation of carbon taxation as a tool to facilitate the mitigation of climate change as well as revenue generation. In the same vein, we will now explore the concept of Emissions Trading Systems (ETS), another form of carbon pricing, as a tool in these initiatives.