No truth in PSOJ allegation regarding Petrojam - Cargill
Chris Cargill, the chairman of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, dismissed allegations that subsidiary Petrojam Limited might be massaging pricing data to make itself more profitable and more attractive to a potential buyer.
He was responding to a request for comment on a statement by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, which expressed worry about the effective monitoring of energy prices were the Government to give up majority control of the Petrojam oil refinery. The businesses lobby further implied that the company's pricing structure may be deliberately couched to attract investors.
Venezuela is selling its 49 per cent of Petrojam and Jamaica has said it is willing to give up some of its 51 per cent stake to a new buyer.
The PSOJ said it was concerned that the pending sale “could be seen as a driving force behind the lack of transparency of the price-setting mechanism used by Petrojam and could be used as a means of increasing the profitability of the company, in order to improve the value to be gained from the sale, to the detriment of consumers and the economy on a whole”.
However, Cargill said there was absolutely no truth to the statement.
“I have stated already that the management at PCJ and Petrojam are professionals and would not and do not operate in any fashion that would bring into disrepute their reputations or that of these organisations,” he told Sunday Business.
Meanwhile, Minister Paulwell says the PSOJ’s concern about the lack of consultation on the possible sale of government shares in Petrojam was premature.
The issue was raised, he said, as a reflection of the Government’s thinking and not because a deal was in the works.
“There is no proposed sale as such. I said I was prepared to consider,” said the minister. He adds that the government would not enter into such a transaction without consultation, and that such discussions would involve the PSOJ.
Paulwell said Wednesday that would likely be able to speak more directly in a month about the sale of PDVSA’s 49 per cent.
The PSOJ has been engaged in a public debate with Petrojam on the pricing of its products, insisting that levels of adjustment over time were not in line with the fall in the price of oil on the market. Petrojam has consistently pushed back, saying its pricing is based on US Gulf Coast Reference.