Resource Rich, Politically Feeble

Sep 1, 2002

Trinidad and Tobago has more money than it knows what to do with. A debilitating political deadlock is making dealing with this abundant liquidity an even greater problem.

Few Latin American countries have more money than they know what to do with. But Trinidad and Tobago, with it is fabulous oil and gas reserves, has a serious liquidity problem that is likely to get worse in the years ahead. Since 1998, international oil and gas companies have invested nearly $4.5 billion in this lush green island, just a stone's throw off Venezuela's coast, to explore for and develop reserves that promise an even greater bonanza. Additional investments in the energy sector should boost oil- and gas-related revenues by $8-$10 billion over the next five years in a country that only has 1.3 million people.

Trinidad has 23 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and an additional 60 trillion cubic feet of probable reserves, making it one of the most important producers of liquefied natural gas, oil and key chemical inputs in the...

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