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Oil company Petrotrin shrinks losses

Published:Friday | November 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Trinidad's state-owned oil company Petrotrin reported a fall-off in revenues, which at TT$3.2 billion were down 16 per cent at year ending September.

But it also reported a reduction in its losses at the bottom line at TT$533 million, compared to losses of TT$819 million in 2015. Had it not been for some TT$884 million of tax benefits, Petrotrin's losses in 2015 would have totalled $1.7 billion.

"Lower operating expenses helped to reduce the loss from the prior year. The company continues to meet its debt service, required capital expenditure, and asset maintenance obligations with the support of its shareholder," Petrotrin said.

It said that since assuming office one year ago, the new board of directors has been taking the necessary steps to realign cost and capital requirements given the projected lower revenue streams due to the fall in oil prices, which decreased by as much as 27 per cent for fiscal 2016 compared to 2015.

"Notwithstanding these challenging market conditions, Petrotrin's performance in fiscal 2016 demonstrated some noteworthy achievements," the statement said, noting that these included a TT$500-million reduction in the company's operating expenditures, including overtime costs.

It said there had also been increased refinery utilisation from 55 per cent in 2015 to 73 per cent this year and a 15 per cent increase in product sales to the local, regional and international markets.

Petrotrin is currently in discussions with all stakeholders, aimed at increasing crude production from its Trinmar Marine Operations through a series of interventions aimed at unlocking oil volumes in that operation.

"Other initiatives in our land operations include continued drilling and workover activities based on ongoing seismic data from recent surveys, and a number of enhanced oil-recovery initiatives based on steam and carbon dioxide injection," the oil company said.

It expects to realise increased refinery throughput for fiscal 2017.

"All this, as the company continues to focus on asset integrity improvements and enhanced safety performance," Petrotrin said.

"Our efforts are to emerge from this difficult period in a fundamentally stronger position. We are confident of improved and sustained performance in the years ahead."