In T&T: No oil conflict T&T, Grenada ministers meet

3 May 2012


Conflict resolution (Caribbean style)…maritime border ‘issue’ put into clear context by respective Ministers of Energy for T&T and Grenada.

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine and his Grenadian counterpart, Nazim Burke, have met and discussed maritime boundary issues between Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.

They agreed on Monday there was no conflict between the two countries with regard to offshore energy blocks.

Both ministers spoke on Monday following a report in the Sunday Express which pointed to a possible conflict, highlighted by technocrats in Trinidad’s Ministry of Energy, about border issues as they related to two deep water blocks.

T&T’s equidistant line (the middle line between the two countries) starts from Tobago and is greater than Grenada’s portion of the sea.

The boundary was agreed upon in 2008 by former prime minister Patrick Manning and Grenadian Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

On Sunday, Ramnarine had said there was no potential conflict with Blocks 28 and 29 recently put up for bid and that the blocks were closer to the Barbados maritime boundary which both T&T and Barbados agreed to.

Despite this, his ministry had previously set up a team to review the boundary issue with the Grenadian Government.

This was confirmed by Grenadian Prime Minister Thomas when the Express contacted him last Sunday.

For his part, Burke told the Express that Ramnarine had already spoken on the issue and he was guided by Ramnarine’s statements.

He declined to discuss the details further with the Express.

“We have since been in communication with Kevin Ramnarine, Minister of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago and have reviewed the press release from the Ministry of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago in response to the article,” the Grenadian government said in its own statement. Last Monday, T&T launched its deep water bid round and put up two offshore acreage blocks-TTDAA 28 and TTDAA 29.

The Sunday Express reported concerns raised by technocrats in the Ministry of Energy that there were unresolved issues with the maritime agreement.

Not only were they concerned about the two blocks up for bid but they were worried about the implications of this country’s continental shelf as it relates to Guyana and Venezuela.

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