Tuesday 4th March, 2008

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Explain maths of

the gas reserves

I would like to invite Martin Houston, Dereck Hudson and Patrick Manning to publicly explain the mathematics of their new alliance in declaring agreement with Government’s position “that the gas reserves of T&T could sustain the government’s developmental objectives in the area” (Guardian March 1).

Gas contracts are based on proven reserves. Present consumption is 4.0 billion cubic feet a day or 1.46 trillion cubic feet a year. A new project will require 20-30 years of assured gas supply. If existing industries similarly demand 20 years of assured (contracted) supply we need at least 29 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves to provide that assurance for them alone.

Our proven reserves are 16.74 trillion cubic feet, or rather they were in January 2006, the effective date of the Ryder Scott report. But we have had two years of no discoveries since then so it’s probably 13 or 14 trillion as of January this year.

Furthermore, the Minister of Energy let slip in one of his speeches that the inaccessible gas shared with Venezuela is included for the first time in this audit, so taking that out there are probaly 11 trillion cubic feet left. That means present proven reserves amount to about 7.5 years consumption (reserves to production ratio or R/P).

How then can the Government be pressing ahead with Essar Steel, Alutrint, AUM complex, a propylene plant, and talking to BG (about LNG “Train X?”). If these are allowed to see the light of day, our R/P ratio drops to probably five years.

Incidentally, the Ryder Scott audit is not new. It is the responsibilty of Government to do this every year but it managed to let it lapse in the hope that BP’s “Deep Ibis” well would prove some hitherto unknown vast potential for exploration. That failed.

The Ryder Scott report can be accessed online for every preceeding year and shows clearly that the reserves have always been in short supply while Government allowed new projects to take us to the present four billion cubic feet a day. The much touted “new” audit to be done is merely a continuation of the practice that has fallen two years in arrears. Audits are not a procedure for discovering gas.

The recent gas discoveries announced this year may add about 1.5 years of consumption and are not yet all in the proven category. Furthemore, at least some of that “new” gas came from previously reported “probable” or “possible” categories so cannot be described as “new.”

Even Robert Riley of BP, with responsibility for much greater reserves than BG, is now cautioning the many non-oil/gas “experts” and speech makers who try to cloud this major national embarrassment with statements like “the Ryder Scott report is merely a guide,” that future discoveries will likely be small—in the 500 billion cubic foot range.

With this kind of forecast and the expense of deep-water exploration, we will be extremely fortunate if we prove new gas fast enough to maintain the present 11-year R/P.

We earnestly look forward to industry sources for telling the facts as they are, since credible explanations from Government are not forthcoming, and good news on this subject hasn’t been heard for years. Please tell us the basis for this wisdom.

Reg Potter


Stop talking & fix health care

I know that a lot of work is being done by the Government for the people of this country. My question however, is, which people?

Certainly, not the people who do not have ready access to cash or to family/friends with cash; those who do not know people in high places and have no one to ask a favour; those who are at the mercy of public servants and private organisations alike that do not give a damn about simply providing service.

The Minister of Health and his colleagues should just shut up about what they are doing in their respective ministries and just see that things get done.

Fix the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex accident and emergency ward. Staff it with people who want to work there and make sure the medicines and other resources are available for every patient.

Imagine my cousin who was injured in a vehicular accident was operated on but the hospital did not have the drugs on hand for his post-operative care in the Intensive Care Unit. Now he’s dead and we will never know what part this lack of medication contributed to his death.

An autopsy which the hospital said would happen the next day took place five days after. The explanation for the delay? “Equipment broke down.” Vision 2020 and you still can’t see a thing!

I write this letter even though I do not expect anything to happen as a result of it. I don’t expect things to improve in the immediate or 100 days. But I feel better having openly expressed my frustration and annoyance that a country so rich with oil dollars has little or no real compassion for its poor.

Simone Barry


PM decision adds to global warming

Since Prime Minister Manning returned from Uganda or wherever hot under the collar about global warming and the environment, there has seemingly been no slowdown in plans to destroy the latter and increase our contribution to speeding up the former:

The new Pt Lisas port, 75 acres of irreplaceable mangrove, many acres of seabed all reclaimed for a gas-guzzlling, high-emission plant.

NEC’s engineers say they will replant the mangrove (which more knowledgeable experts say cannot be done). In the meantime they will have killed spawning grounds, wildlife, Ibis nesting, oyster beds, mussels, shrimp et al.

Maybe they are setting up aquariums etc to save the livelihoods of the fishermen? The project is a crime but then this seems to be a way of life for the PNM if we take URP, Cepep, Ccommunity leaders etc as indications of PNM thinking or lack of.

Maybe it might be illuminating for our PM to get some views from Prince Charles, a serious environmentalist.

Ian Gianetti

Santa Cruz

Is this T&T or

Fantasy Island?

Towards the end of the seventies and into the early eighties, there was a popular television show called Fantasy Island on which lived the “Boss,” a very dapper gentleman and his midget sidekick, “Tattoo.”

Tourist could go to the island and live out any fantasy they desired.

The island was breathtaking with rich, lush tropical forests, white sandy beaches and exquisitely designed buildings. The latter was a pet subject of the Boss, who insisted on having the very best. His suits were impeccably tailored, his cars well kept and his house worthy of an emperor.

At the beginning of each episode, a plane would arrive bringing the guests and the familiar call from Tattoo would be “Da plane, da plane.”

On having read Saturday’s papers about the Government wanting to acquire a jet, Fantasy Island sprung to mind for we already have the dapper looking gentleman, the palace, the cars, and soon the sidekick “Tattoo” will make the announcement “da plane, da plane has arrived.”

Somehow we never did get to see the other parts of Fantasy Island where, no doubt, the natives lived.

C Peters

Via e-mail

Flow, reinstate

original Disney

As a parent of an eight-year-old, I am kindly appealing to Flow to reinstate the original Disney Channel that feeds from the USA.

Since Friday last, Flow has switched to the feed Disney Latino feed from Colombia and Venezuela which contains more Spanish programming that English programming. This includes some of the more popular children’s shows like Hannah Montana etc.

While I am all for instituting Spanish as a second language and do recognise the value of having our children exposed to Spanish television channels, this should be by choice, not by force. Flow can offer these bilingual channels as one of its packages.

I cannot help but wonder if the reason for switching to the Latin feed is because it is costing Flow less money to do so (at our children’s expense of course).

Come on, Flow, do not frustrate our young ones any more. They are already stressed out with the current education system. Allow them to relax and enjoy the channels that their parents work so hard to pay for.

Carlene Jubraj


Foreigh judges show the way

congratulations are in order for sopranos Germaine Wilson and Adafih Padmore and baritones John Thomas and Garnet Wilson who the judges tied for first place and a share of the Dr Dorrel Philip Trophy in this year’s Music Festival.

Their sterling efforts have been appropriately rewarded. The audience too, has been spared the agony of witnessing “losing” performances for which there could be little justification.

Everyone goes away happy and contented with a well deserved four-way tie.

Ironically, I had submitted a letter last month, suggesting a similar approach be taken to judging Panorama when the performances in contention are too close to call, as has been the case for the last three years.

Now that foreign judges have shown the way, maybe we will follow their lead, as we always seem to do in sweet T&T, and allow the judges to work as a team, instead of simply going the route of the Lotto (more like Quick Pick). We wait!

Daryl C Joseph

Via e-mail

Renew passports

by month issued

OPEN letter to the Ministers of National Security and Legal Affairs:

Why not renew passports by the month they were issued. If we are currently in February, renew only those in February, then those in March, then April, and so on until they are all done.

People with emergencies and expired passports (they must show proof) will be exempted. All others will be turned away until their turn (month). The same rules could apply for the new birth certificates.

C Roopnarine

San Juan



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