Manufactured news/political spin on T&T’s LNG sector

The political response to the shortfall in gas supply to the local gas based manufacturing sector has been tall tales, manufactured news passing for political spin. With the collapse of oil prices and the consequent fall in LNG contract prices indexed to the market price of oil and the collapse in Asian spot prices primarily caused by increased and increasing supply and sluggish demand the manufactured news mill passing for political spin has now entered a new phase. This phase is now predicated on attacking the manner in which LNG produced in T&T is marketed internationally by the shareholders of Atlantic. This attack is without legal basis as it speaks as if the LNG industry of T&T is state owned and the shareholders have a legal duty to maximise the revenue T&T earns from the sale of LNG produced in T&T on the international markets. It is a UNC government that established the legal/contractual parameters for Trains 1to 3 of Atlantic LNG. A PNM government with the creation of Train 4 tried to vary this boundary of this parameter but the operational reality of Trains 1 to 3 were sacrosant/untouchable. But the fundamental reality remains: for all trains the final product is disposed of in keeping with the strategic imperatives of the transnational corporation which is a shareholder of Atlantic. Why then attack  the shareholders of Atlantic when their actions are lawful under the terms established by a UNC government? If the owners of the product of Atlantic choose to sell LNG to Chile where LNG prices are linked to US Henry Hub prices rather than to markets where the price of LNG is higher that is their legal right as determined by duly elected governments of T&T. You cannot eat your harkow and have it too these are the breaks. But this is not the fundamental issue raised in the manufactured news story and I have to ask questions because this is the era in T&T of pre-action protocol letters and being unemployed, poor and broken I have no court house clothes. These then are the salient questions that arise: this netback formula from which T&T revenue is calculated does this formula only apply to LNG produced at Train 4 of Atlantic whilst for Trains 1 to 3 netback does not apply? If yes what then is the formula applied to Trains 1 to 3 and how does this impact the revenue derived by T&T? These are the crucial questions in an era where the US shale gas revolution is now the gravest threat to the future revenue earning potential to T&T of Atlantic. This paltry attempt at attacking the shareholders in public then seeking to suck up in private is a dangerous play in the era of USD 40 and USD 50 oil, with profit warnings, falling stock prices and cost cutting driven by people losing their jobs. We don’t hold the trump cards in this world energy market they do. They are not driven by the desire to win a general election Play fake, denial hardball and we the people get burn. We the people need to be told the reality political spin cannot buy groceries!

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