Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Jamaica still to decide on whether to seek oil under PetroCaribe initiative

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Jamaica has not yet decided whether or not it will engage Venezuela to re-kindle interest in the PetroCaribe, the oil initiative Caracas has with with Latin American and Caribbean countries.

“I’m unaware of such engagement. No discussion has taken place in Cabinet as it relates to that,” Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information, Robert Morgan, told reporters during Wednesday’s news conference.

Earlier this month, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said his country would be receiving approximately 23,000 barrels of oil under the  PetroCaribe agreement.

In April, Prime Minister Gonsalves said Caracas has agreed to cancel St Vincent and the Grenadines’ debt under PetroCaribe, its oil initiative with Latin American and Caribbean countries. He said as a result, this could result in the national debt declining by nine per cent.

Gonsalves had also disclosed that Caracas had agreed to cancel St Vincent and the Grenadines’ debt under PetroCaribe, and as a result, this could result in the national debt declining by nine per cent.

Opposition spokesman on Energy, Phillip Paulwell, has again urged the Andrew Holness government here to seek Venezuela’s assistance following last week’s decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to cut oil production by two million barrels daily.

Morgan told reporters that that funds the Jamaica government obtained when it passed legislation in 2019 to acquire Venezuela’s 49 per cent share in the Petrojam oil refinery remain in an escrow account.

The move followed US sanctions on persons and entities conducting business with the Venezuelan government.

Jamaica currently sources crude oil and finished products from Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Barbados.

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