“This is a huge step forward in government accountability to citizens in Trinidad and Tobago,” Victor Hart, Chair of the TTEITI Steering Committee, said upon publishing the Report.
As part of implementing the global EITI transparency standard, Trinidad and Tobago produces annual EITI Report, where all taxes and other payments from the oil and gas companies are disclosed.
The country’s first ever Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Report disclose details about all these government revenues for 2011.
The report provides a detailed account of the more than 50% of Trinidad and Tobago’s total government fiscal revenue that originate from extraction of its natural resources. The country’s fiscal reciepts from extractive resources add up to almost US $3 000 per capita.
Jonas Moberg, Head of the EITI International Secretariat, welcomes the publication of the Report, which he trusts “will contribute to a better understanding of the extractive sector, its role and economic potential and inform the debate about addressing the changing conditions of the international gas market and the challenges to ensure robust long-term growth in Trinidad and Tobago”.
“The public will finally know”
The Report was published Monday 30 September 2013 in Port of Spain in a launch event presided by the Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine. It disclosed that the government received a total of US $3.6 billion in payments from oil and gas companies, of which 5.49% represented corporate tax.
TTEITI Chair Hart said the publication of the report is a major milestone in an on-going national journey.
“It is acknowledged that the natural resources being extracted in Trinidad and Tobago belong to its citizens. Therefore, the data in this report is of critical important because, for the first time, citizens will be able to see in detail in a single document how the revenues earned from their resources are generated.”
“The T&T extractive industries sector and the amount of revenues it generates have long been sources of contention, simply because detailed information was not available to the general public. With the release of this report, the public will finally know how much each extractive company paid to each government agency.”
Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, Honourable Kevin C. Ramnarine, said in a letter to EITI Chair Clare Short that his country is committed to transparency.
“The publication of individual company payments information is a most significant policy and paradigm shift on the part of the state, a step change which my government is proud to have achieved.”
Oil and gas revenues still major fiscal contributor despite declining production
The report showed that oil and gas production is declining, but that the revenues from these resources are still major contributors to the economy.
The country’s oil and gas’s revenues came mostly from five large operators: BP Group, BG Group, EOG Group, Repsol and BHP Billiton, in addition to the two state-owned companies Petrotrin and the National Gas Company.
These seven largest companies account for 98% of the total fiscal income generated by the hydrocarbons sector. The Report details how the Trinidadian treasury captures revenues from hydrocarbons operators, mainly through the Inland Revenue Division (68% of receipts) and the Ministry of Energy (31%).
Identifying issues that need improvement
The Report identifies a number of areas in which further improvements will contribute to strengthen the management of the sector. These include auditing practices, automation of government systems, more complete production figures and clearer categorisation of payments. Similarly, the Report recommends that the mining sector be included in future reports. See more details in Section 8 of the Report.
For further information about EITI in Trinidad and Tobago, please visit www.eiti.org/TrinidadAndTobago or contact Regional Director Francisco Paris.