Trinidad and Tobago is a leading hydrocarbon producer in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is the second largest natural gas producer in the region. Trinidad’s natural gas output represented 1.3% of world output in 2013. Trinidad and Tobago accounted for 50.6% of US LNG imports between October 2011 and May 2012. However, the US is importing less LNG from Trinidad and Tobago as domestic needs are increasily met with shale gas. Trinidadian gas exports to countries like Argentina, Chile, Spain and South Korea have expanded. Trinidad's economy is strongly influenced by the petroleum industry. Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America.
Oil and gas in Trinidad and Tobago accounts for about 43% of GDP and 85% of exports in 2013, falling clearly into the list of countries that the IMF designates as “resource-rich”. The country has benefited from a large amount of foreign investment into the sector. Leading operators in the oil and gas sector are BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT), EOG Group, British Gas (BG), Repsol and BHP Billiton and the state-owned companies Petrotrin and National Gas Company. The Atlantic LNG's project, a consortium led by BP, BG, and Repsol has increased its overall output capacity by almost 50% in recent years and Over the last five years, LNG production averaged approximately 33.1 thousand cubic metres
Trinidad and Tobago legislative framework regulates the petroleum industry; the minerals industry; the mid and downstream (petroleum) activities; the health, safety and environmental activities and also includes regulation of the freedom of information. All current regulations are available at the Legislation and Tax Laws page of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.
The oil and gas fiscal regime is explained in T&T Reports (see, for example, section 3.4.4 of the 2015 EITI Report; section 3.9 of the 2013 Report). Companies wishing to explore for and produce oil and gas in Trinidad and Tobago must first be granted the rights to do so by signing a contract or a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Government. Companies pay taxes according to the agreements signed under the PSC.
The main taxes paid to the Government are:
- the Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT),
- the Supplemental Petroleum Tax (SPT),
- the Unemployment Levy,
- the Petroleum Production Levy,
- the Oil Impost, the Corporation Tax,
- the Green Fund Levy, and;
- the Withholding Tax
Further details are available in the 2015 TTEITI Report, table 9.
The fiscal regime also includes a package of incentives provided to these companies to boost oil and gas production and attract new investment. Incentives may take the form of tax rebates and various allowances which generally serve to lower the tax burden on the companies. These include the Sustainability Incentive, Investment Tax Credit, the Workover Allowance and the Deepwater Allowance, among others.
Companies which are engaged in exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas are taxed under the Petroleum Taxes Act, while petrochemical companies and NGC are taxed under the Companies Act. The Petroleum Taxes Act outlines the taxation rules or laws governing businesses engaged in E&P, refining and marketing. The Act details the type of taxes applicable (e.g. PPT and SPT), how these taxes are calculated and administered and the general principles of taxation. It also outlines incentives and explains how they are to be applied. The Government also obtains revenue from (Lease out-Fram out) LOFOs which are also taxed under the Petroleum Taxes Act.
The mining sector is regulated by the Minerals Law Act No. 61 of 2000, the Asphalt Industry Regulation Act, the Mining Compensation Act, the Geological Survey Act and the Minerals (General) Regulations 2015. A complete overview and access to each document are available at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries at the Legislation and Tax Laws.
Trinidad and Tobago EITI Steering Committee “unanimously agreed to implement a TTEITI Beneficial Ownership Project” in its 54th meeting held on 19 March 2015. As part of the 2014-2015 TTEITI Report, the country started gathering beneficial ownership data to populate the Beneficial Ownership Registry. The Beneficial Ownership project webpage documents a suggested definition of beneficial ownership and a politically exposed person.
The Trinidad and Tobago received in 2015 USD 3.3 billion in revenues from the extractive sector. This is a 27% decline from 2014. The largest revenue stream collected by the country was USD 913 million paid in dividends from NGC in 2015. It represented 27% of total fiscal extractive revenues.
The TT-EITI 2013 Report shows that Trinidad and Tobago received TT$ 21.4 billion (USD $ 3.3 billion) in the fiscal year ending on 30 September 2013. 60% of those revenues were collected by the Ministry of Finance for mostly petroleum taxes, 33% corresponded to revenues collected by the Ministry of Energy for royalties, share of profits from the PSC and other petroleum levies. The remaining 7% was collected by the Investmend Division of the Ministry of Finance.
Revenues from the extractive industry are allocated through several mechanisms. They are:
- The national budget: Trinidad and Tobago’s national budget is partially financed by income from petroleum activities. On 1st October every year when the National Budget is presented, the Ministry of Finance informs the country how the Government plans to use its energy revenues.
- The Heritage and Stabilization Fund (HSF): is to cushion the economy in case of a sustained shortfall on Government revenue due to a collapse of petroleum prices. The HSF Act also sets up that the fund also has a heritage purpose (see more in 2015 EITI Report, session 3.5.2). The fund is supervised by the Ministry of Finances and the auditing process are conducted by the Auditor General to ensure that funds are not mishandled.
- Share to the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs.
- The Petroleum Fuel Subsidy: is another medium through which oil and gas revenues are shared directly with citizens. Introduced in 1974 with the proclamation of the Petroleum Production Levy and Subsidy Act (Act 314 of 1974), fuel subsidies absorb a part of the total cost of petroleum fuels as a means of protecting consumers from high fuel prices and sharing of the petroleum wealth. The subsidy is managed by the Ministry of Finances and changes are informed through the Budget Reviews.
The 2014-2015 TTEITI Report contains a wealth of recommendations including audit and assurances on government figures, licensing information, production data and automation of Ministry and Energy's records. Recommendations to improve the governance of the mining sector include, among others, simplifying processes for mining licenses and to disclose information related to mining liceses. More details are found in Section 8 of the report.
The EITI encourages multi-stakeholder groups to explore innovative approaches to make the EITI more relevant and useful.
Trinidad and Tobago has a Youth Advisory Committee, which meets on a regular basis to discuss ways to engage the nation's youth. Members of the committee have take part in television and radio shows throughout the year to promote the 2013 EITI Report and engage the wider society in contributing to TTEITI's work.
Attached below is Trinidad and Tobago's open data policy, published in December 2016.
Every EITI country must agree a clear policy on the access, release and re-use of EITI data (requirement 7.1.b of the EITI Standard
This EITI Report covers Trinidad and Tobago's extractive sector in 2012 and 2013. It was published in September 2015.
This is Trinidad and Tobago 2015 Annual Progress Report in accordance with requirement 7.4 and 8.4
This is the Trinidad and Tobago EITI 2014-2016 work plan (in accordance with Requirement 1.5).
This Trinidad and Tobago EITI Validation report was published in May 2014.
EITI responsibilities:Geographically: Latin America and CaribbeanOther areas include reporting, mining, sub national flows and accounting standards and research.
Dr Paris has worked both in the private sector in banking and consulting and in the
EITI responsibilities: Support EITI implementing countries
Gisela joined the team at the EITI International Secretariat in May 2014. Having worked at the Trinidad and Tobago EITI National Secretariat over the last two years,