The government of Trinidad & Tobago plans to divest part of its stake in state oil firm Petrotrin in the hope that outside and private investors can turn around the company’s productivity and balance sheet, both of which are in decline.
Revenues have dropped 50% since 2012.
National Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced the move on Thursday and critics immediately claimed it was the thin end of the wedge that would lead to wholesale privatization of the firm.
Petrotrin operates the 165,000-barrels-per-day Point a Pierre refinery and produces 45,000 b/d from its offshore and onshore fields. It is the largest supplier of refined products to the Caribbean.
Rowley’s announcement came just days after a mass strike by Petrotrin’s members of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) was averted when the company offered 5% pay hikes, half of what the union had demanded.