Trinidad and Grenada at logger-heads over oil find
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday April 30, 2012 – Conflict is brewing between Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada over the spoils of exploration for two of the country’s deep water blocks which were up for bid last week.
According to reports, the offshore acreage blocks are the TTDAA 28 and the TTDAA 29 – located North East of the Trinidadian border which is also the international boundary with Grenada.
It is understood that unresolved issues has seen Trinidadian authorities consulting with officials from the Grenadian government on the issue.
Reports indicate that former Prime Minister Patrick Manning entered into an agreement which delineated the common continental shelf in 2008 between the two countries. This act could affect the blocks if they fell outside the boundaries agreed to by the former Prime Minister.
Trinidad’s Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine said the prospective blocks followed a geological trend which ran straight through the TTDAA 28 and TTDAA 29 which went straight up to Barbados.
Reports indicate that the minister confirmed the blocks lay on the Grenadian border, and noted that negotiations with that country’s government were done in April 2010.
However, questions regarding the twin-island states’ continental shelf are now in question, especially with the maritime boundary dispute between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados still fresh in their minds.
That judgment went in Barbados’ favour after it dismissed Trinidad and Tobago’s right to almost 30, 000 square nautical miles near 40 miles off Oistins, and only ceded a mere 315 nautical miles.
The arbitration panel also established a median line which presented a halfway point between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, which affirmed the latter’s right to a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, and its right to exploit hydrocarbon resources beneath the sea bed as far as 150 nautical miles beyond the 200-nautical mile.
Now there are concerns about Grenada pursuing similar action like that of Barbados, especially with the two blocks now up for bid. Of even greater concern is any implications which this could have for the country, especially with Guyana and Venezuela.