Utilities of Trinidad and Tobago
There are more than 30 producing oil and gas fields, many of them offshore. For a long time after the 1970s there were no significant fields discovered, but exploration in areas off the east coast led to the discovery of the large Angostura field in 2001. In January 2014 proven oil reserves were estimated at 800 million barrels. Exploration has intensified following the Angostura find, but offshore fields are costly to exploit and slow to be brought on stream. There are two oil refineries: at Pointe-à-Pierre and at Point Fortin.
Trinidad and Tobago has estimated proven natural gas reserves of 400 billion cubic metres (January 2014). The Atlantic Liquefied Natural Gas Plant at Point Fortin started to export natural gas in 1999. It was then expanded in stages during the 2000s and the country is now among the world’s biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas.
The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is responsible for the supply of power and electricity to the country. Electricity is primarily generated from natural gas. Independent suppliers on the islands include the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago, though the primary shareholder is still T&TEC, and Trinity Power, a US-owned consortium, which is involved in the sustained development and operation of power generation plants.
The country’s main gas provider is the government-owned National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC). However private company BP Trinidad and Tobago Oil and Gas Exploration and Development, located in Port of Spain, supplies the majority of the island’s natural gas and is the single largest source of government revenue.
In 2011 the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) began work on a regional energy and environmental management project, partnered with Trinidad and Tobago and funded by the European Union. As part of the project, private sector organisations in Trinidad and Tobago will begin working with the PSOJ in sectors which are facing increased challenges from environmental degradation, including the energy sector.
The Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA) is the sole legislated provider of water and sewage services in the country. It serves more than 90 per cent of the population with piped fresh water.
The Telecommunications Act supports the existence of the private sector in the telecommunications industry. Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) is the main telephone and internet service provider, jointly owned by the government, and Cable and Wireless. TSTT once had a complete monopoly on the islands but this was broken in June 2005 when mobile service licenses were granted to private companies Digicel and the now defunct Laqtel. More recently, the introduction of fixed-line services from private company Flow broke TSTT’s longstanding fixed-line monopoly.