Touchstone Explrtn. (TSX:LSE: TXP) Govt silent on Petrotrin refinery shutdown

 

The government remains silent about the fate of Petrotrin, after a surprise announcement yesterday that the board had decided to shut down the 101-year-old Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Yesterday Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited announced it will shut down its refinery and marketing operations and focus on exploration and production.

Over 2,500 employees will be affected, with up to 1,700 refinery jobs to be terminated.

 

 

Touchstone Exploration Inc would like to provide clarity on the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (“Petrotrin”) restructuring announced on August 28, 2018.

Petrotrin has announced a restructuring of their operations which will include the future closure of their oil-refinery operations and a redesign of their exploration and production business.

Petrotrin has advised that the refining of crude oil will be phased out and that future production volumes will be exported for processing at other facilities. Petrotrin expects that it will begin transitioning to this model in October of this year.

Touchstone believes these changes will have no impact on its current and future operations, as the Company currently sells produced crude oil volumes to Petrotrin under various marketing contracts and does not interact directly with the refinery.

 

 

The Company expects that it will continue to sell crude oil production to Petrotrin under our existing contracts; however, rather than selling to the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, it is presumed that Petrotrin will export the product at world pricing.

It is the Company’s view that the restructuring will benefit the country in the long-term, as the sustainable profitability of the state-owned company, will enhance the standard of living in Trinidad and ensure the continued viability of the oil and gas-based economy on the island.

Touchstone also recognizes that the announced retrenchment directly impacts a high number of skilled workers in Petrotrin’s organization. We are hopeful that as we accelerate our development activities in Trinidad, some of the qualified personnel may find opportunities in our organization.

 

* The reserves information above summarizes certain information from the Company’s Reserves Report prepared by Touchstone’s independent reserves evaluator, GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (“GLJ”)

 

Paul Baay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Touchstone said, “We believe this is a difficult but necessary step for Petrotrin, and we look forward to working with them as a partner while they transition the business and return to profitability.”

Petrotrin has announced that they will be meeting with all stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss how the proposed changes will be implemented, and Touchstone expects to be an active participant in these meetings.

 


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