This assertion was supported by Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert who said the “alleged discovery has all the distinguishing features of a hoax. No two ways about it”.
Speaking at a news conference at the opposition leader’s Port-of-Spain office, both MPs slammed government for taking the population “up a gum tree” with this “propaganda of a massive oil discovery”.
Rowley said the discovery was not new given that in 2007 Petrotrin had commissioned a study on the area of the find by Vetra Consultants. Last year, four appraisal wells were drilled, three confirmed the presence of the reservoir and one was dry, he said. He stressed that a detailed development plan to determine the reserves and their commercial viability now has to be done.
He claimed that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was driven to make the announcement by political considerations.
“On the day and very time when this announcement was made, the prime minister should have been meeting with her coalition partners to deal with political jhanjat [confusion] … To distract the population from the effects of those kinds of political developments, lo and behold, we have the prime minister postponing her meeting … and making an announcement geared solely, knowingly and deliberately to mislead the population and to put people in a feel-good mood … that great things are happening ; that God is a Trini; we have a Jubilee oilfield; and very soon, in a matter of weeks, 12 months, we would be pumping oil,” he said.
In the process, Rowley said, the reputation and credibility of the Ministry of Energy for competence in dealing with the country’s economic lifeblood has been sullied and the country was being made a fool of in multinational circles.
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