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Trinidad and Tobago has been one of the Caribbean’s leading oil producers since the discovery of oil in 1968. Although the importance of oil earnings to the Trinidad exchequer has declined from a high point of 35% of GDP in 1980 to 2.5% in 2020, the government’s commitment to ‘green transitions’ still poses challenges to the restructuring of the country’s political economy. The discovery of oil in neighbouring Guyana promises to transform its economy. Guyana has recently been described as being among potential energy superbasins of the world. Overall,  estimated foreign earnings from oil exceed $2 billion p.a (The ExxonMobil Stabroek bloc has an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent.)  However, how widely will this oil bonanza be distributed?
This seminar will consider the comparative cases of Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana, and the choices and limitations confronting both countries in fulfilling their public commitment to green transitions. Discussion will touch on themes of strategic planning, the structure of the oil sector, scope for regional connectivities and collaboration, and ask the question, ‘Can states buck the ‘resource curse’?’ What chances are there for energy and research innovation, South/South trade, policy autonomy, technical training and education? Do the challenges of corruption and vested interests, and limited institutional capacity and data generation, pose significant threats? What of the potential problems of over reliance on external multinational corporations, such as EXxon? Can lessons be drawn from the experience and policy/business response in these Commonwealth countries? 

Speakers will be confirmed shortly.

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees in advance.