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‘Fake oil’ debate in the Senate today

Trinidad Express / The ”fake oil” scandal will be debated in the Senate today with Opposition Senator Wade Mark asking that A&V Oil and Gas Limited operator’s contract with State owned Petrotrin be suspended.

Mark has a private motion listed on the Senate’s order paper which states as follows:

“WHEREAS the state owned company PETROTRIN is responsible for petroleum operations including the exploration for, development of and production of hydrocarbons, and the manufacturing and marketing of petroleum products; AND WHEREAS over the last ten years there has been a steady decline in the revenue generated from the energy sector due to the decline in the price of oil and gas and also a reduction in oil production; AND WHEREAS it was reported in the media that one of PETROTRIN’s operators, A&V Oil and Gas Limited overstated its level of production during the period of January 2017 to 11th July 2017 resulting in PETROTRIN having paid royalties for crude oil that was not received;

AND WHEREAS recommendations were made by PETROTRIN’s Audit Committee that payments to A&V Oil and Gas Limited be withheld and the contract terminated due to the alleged misrepresentation of the operator;

BE IT RESOLVED that immediate action be taken by the Ministry of Finance, as Corporation Sole, to suspend this operator’s contract while investigations into the Audit Committee’s Report are ongoing;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the matter of the overstating of oil production be referred to the Joint Select Committee on State Enterprises for inquiry and report”.

This motion comes after two external audits confirmed an report by Petrotrin’s Internal Audit Department that there was a discrepancy between reported oil production in the Exploration and Production Operations in the Catshill Field operated by A&V Oil and Gas and the actual production receipts at Pointe-a-Pierre for the period January to June 2017.

The scandal has seen the resignation of Government Senator Allyson Baksh, daughter of Hanniff Nazim Baksh, owner of A&V Oil and Gas Limited.

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