A&V Oil and Gas Ltd chief executive Hanif Baksh said the company saved Trinidad and Tobago taxpayers “millions of dollars” by choosing to settle the dispute between itself and the company. State dismantled Petrotrin.
Baksh said in a press release Thursday that the settlement agreement that was accepted by A&V “consisted of the repayment of approximately $ 102 million, which Petrotrin was holding for oil already supplied by A&V, and $ 18 million. dollars in damages, as well as a lease to extract oil from the Catshill field ”.
Baksh also said that “A & V’s claim for damages would have been a very large sum, in the region of $ 800 million.”
A&V became of national concern in 2019 when the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) claimed that the government, through Petrotrin, had paid the company millions of dollars for oil that had never been book.
The trade dispute was settled earlier this week and Heritage Petroleum, the national oil company that succeeded Petrotrin, will enter into an Enhanced Production Service (EPSC) contract with A&V for the purchase of crude.
The agreement is also anchored in a partial award rendered on June 11 by an arbitration panel, in favor of A&V.
Led by former Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) President Sir Dennis Byron, the panel ruled that Petrotrin had failed to establish that A&V engaged in seal tampering or any other improper practice in the delivery of crude oil between April 2016 and July 2017.
Baksh said on Thursday: “A&V believes that by settling the dispute between itself and Petrotrin it saved the taxpayers of this country millions of dollars, which Petrotrin should have paid in damages, interest and charges at the end of any other legal battle undertaken by Petrotrin.
“A&V was however satisfied with the efforts made to resolve the matter amicably as A&V acknowledged that Petrotrin may not have been able to pay the debt and the costs of the judgment and that the government should have intervened to pay damages, ”he said. .
The press release states that A&V “also took into consideration that an appeal process could have taken a few years and in the meantime it was best for A&V to return to the Catshill field so that A&V could to earn money and produce oil for the country. ”.
“It is in this context that A&V did not pursue the judgment in its favor for damages, which could have been in the neighborhood of $ 800 million,” Baksh said.
“He decided to accept Petrotrin’s offer to return to the Catshill field, with a ten-year lease. A&V felt that this would give them the ability to extract oil and supply it to Heritage, which would be good for A&V and good for the country.
Baksh noted the panel members and said they were “experienced and distinguished judges”.
The other members of the panel were Justice of Appeal Humphrey Stollmeyer and Lord David Hope, former Vice President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Baksh said during the trial that A&V presented evidence showing that A&V produced the quantities of oil for which it was paid by Petrotrin.
He said Petrotrin alleged that it had reasonable grounds to terminate A&V’s contract to supply it with crude oil, based on claims that A&V overestimated the volume of oil supplied and was overpaid by Petrotrin for oil not supplied.
“Petrotrin decided to terminate the contract with A&V and refused to pay A&V the sum of $ 84,699,879.47 and US $ 2,284,398.40 for the oil already supplied to Petrotrin,” Baksh said, and referring to A&V, said: “He presented evidence to show that the Catshill field had the capacity to produce the amounts of oil, and she presented evidence demonstrating that A&V pumps had the capacity to pump the amounts. of oil to Petrotrin.
“The judgment of the three eminent judges shows that there was no truth in the allegations that A&V supplied fake oil to Petrotrin. On the contrary, the judgment shows that A&V supplied real crude oil to Petrotrin, and A&V must be paid for the supply of real crude oil to Petrotrin, ”Baksh said.
He added that “A&V believes that Petrotrin should approach the government to have the government disclose the full judgment in this case to the public, and that the government should deliver the judgment to Parliament, so that all members of Parliament , members of the media and members of the public will have access to the judgment ”.
He went on to say, “As the CEO of A&V, I want to tell the country that A&V intends to put all the disputes behind it and move forward to explore and extract the maximum amount of oil from the Catshill field, so that not only would A&V benefit, but the production of oil by A&V would contribute to the national economy.