Overview and role of the EITI
The oil and gas sector plays a significant role in Trinidad and Tobago’s economy, accounting for 27% of government revenue and 51% of export earnings in 2018. The island nation has a long history of oil and gas production, but has been mainly producing natural gas since the 1990s. The country also has a smaller mining sector which produces commodities used in the construction industry, such as sand, gravel and clay.
Trinidad and Tobago joined the EITI with the objective of enhancing natural resource governance, promoting economic growth and reducing poverty. The government has been actively engaged with EITI implementation and remains committed to strengthen the systematic disclosure of extractives data. TTEITI has been a channel for dialogue, primarily focused on reconciling payment data, informing government reforms and disseminating data to the public.
Economic contribution of the extractive industries
- to government revenues
- to exports
- To GDP
- to employment
Contracts: What’s the deal in Latin America and the Caribbean?
The future of extractive industries’ governance in Latin America and the Caribbean
Trinidad and Tobago EITI exposes gaps in revenue collection systems
Every dollar counts: improving extractive revenue collection is key for Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago accepted as full member of EITI
Innovations and policy reforms
- TTEITI’s State of the Extractive Sectors Report 2021 presents key developments and economic indicators for the extractive sector in an engaging, user-friendly format. The online report presents data on fuel subsidies, social expenditures, state participation, commodity trading, environmental reporting, renewable energy projects and gender.
- In 2021, TTEITI published a comprehensive guide to help civil society groups understand and scrutinise information within the national budget and participate in policy debate related to budgeting and public finance.
Trinidad and Tobago’s oil and gas sector is governed by the Petroleum Act, the Petroleum Production Levy and Subsidy Act and thee Petroleum Taxes Act. Companies pay taxes according to the agreements signed under production sharing contracts (PSCs), mainly petroleum profits tax (PPT), supplemental petroleum tax (SPT), the unemployment levy, the petroleum production levy, petroleum impost, the green fund levy and withholding tax. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries is responsible for monitoring and auditing amounts due and paid by PSC operators.
The mining sector is governed by the Minerals Act, the Asphalt Industry Regulation Act, the Mining Compensation Act, the Geological Survey Act and the Minerals (General) Regulations 2015. The fiscal regime is specified in the Minerals (General) Regulations. Mining companies are required to pay mainly royalties, fees for competitive bid rounds, license fees, rehabilitation bonds and performance bonds to the government.
Rights for oil and gas exploration and production are granted through a competitive bidding round and awarded by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) in the form of a contract or a production sharing contract (PSC) with the government.
Applications for mining licenses are submitted to, and processed by, the Minerals Advisory Committee (MAC) and are awarded by the MEEI. The Minerals Division of the MMEI is currently developing an electronic system to improve the efficiency of mining license allocations. An overview of petroleum and mining licenses can be downloaded from the MEEI’s website.
At present, licenses and PSCs are confidential documents in the country and cannot be made public due to a legal barrier exists within the Petroleum Act and the Freedom of Information Act. TTEITI is undertaking measures to make contract public, including removing legal barriers and including EITI disclosure clauses in contracts deep water projects.
The Companies Act 2019 requires companies to disclose their beneficial owners in a national register. The law contains provisions related to the definition of beneficial owners, requirements to obtain and validate the beneficial ownership status of shareholders and to update the companies register annually.
In 2020, TTEITI published the country’s first beneficial ownership register, which supported the government’s obligations under FATF, the Global Forum and the EITI. The electronic database was supported by a national campaign and contributed to the country being removed from the FATF grey list.
All extractive and non-extractive revenues flow to the consolidation fund of the central government. Trinidad and Tobago does not have a revenue sharing formula that determines how revenues should be allocated. Generally, the Minister of Finance meets with representatives of stakeholder groups to gather information on the areas that they deem important for spending for the upcoming fiscal year.
The minister incorporates the information into the national budget, which is submitted to parliament for approval. Once the budget is approved, the extractive and non-extractive revenues from the consolidated fund are allocated to the various Government Ministries and Statutory Agencies which the provide goods and services to the public. There are no statutory requirements for subnational transfers.
TTEITI is administered by the Trinidad and Tobago Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), also known as the Steering Committee, which is composed of 30 representatives from government, industry and civil society. The MSG is hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries and chaired by the Assistant Secretary at the Department of Finance, Mr Gregory Mcguire.
Trinidad and Tobago was found to have made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard in February 2019, following its first Validation. The Validation identified eight corrective actions to be addressed by the country’s next Validation, expected to commence in July 2022.
Multi-stakeholder group is formed
Trinidad and Tobago joined
2010-2011 EITI Report published
2011-2012 EITI Report published
Validation – Designated compliant country
2012-2013 EITI Report published
2014-2015 EITI Report published
2016 EITI Report published
Trinidad and Tobago status
2017 EITI Report published
2018 EITI Report Published
Next EITI Report expected to be published
Second Validation is expected to begin