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Middle East Troubles No Threat to Jamaica’s Energy Security — Paulwell

Junior minister for transportation Morais Guy (left), energy minister Phillip Paulwell (second left), and Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna share a joke with Jamaica Observer Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart (third right), his son and Observer CEO Adam Stewart (right), and Observer Managing Director Danville Walker at yesterday’s news luncheon hosted by the Stewarts at the Observer.

Junior minister for transportation Morais Guy (left), energy minister Phillip Paulwell (second left), and Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna share a joke with Jamaica Observer Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart (third right), his son and Observer CEO Adam Stewart (right), and Observer Managing Director Danville Walker at yesterday’s news luncheon hosted by the Stewarts at the Observer.

Jamaica  will remain energy-secure for the next 18 months at least, despite tensions in the Middle East which have been ramped up by last week’s terror attack on Paris, France.

This is the firm view of Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell who spoke yesterday with the Jamaica Observer at the first of two news luncheons with the Government and the Opposition. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller led her 16-member team of ministers and junior ministers. The Opposition team will be hosted by the newspaper tomorrow.

Asked if he was worried that the Middle East tensions could cause a sharp rise in oil prices and set back Jamaica, Paulwell said a confident “no”.

“There is a tremendous oversupply of oil — in the order of three billion barrels — on the market right now. No, the Middle East is not expected to create any serious problems. Plus, Iranian oil is coming on stream. In any event, we are not sitting idly by. The Jamaica Public Service Bogue plant in St James is set to come on stream in March 2016 and the 190-megawatt plant in 2017. So, for the foreseeable future, at least the next 18 months, our energy situation is secure,” said Paulwell.

The terror attack which killed 129 people and injured over 350 others last Friday night in Paris, has added to the troubles in the Middle East, as France stepped up bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria which they blame for the carnage.

Paulwell’s supply figure was collaborated by the International Energy Agency, which said “stockpiles of oil at a record three billion barrels are providing world markets with a degree of comfort”.

Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips agreed with Paulwell, adding that he did not fear oil price increases impacting his budget projections.

“Along with an oversupply of oil, there is the technology called ‘fracking’, which more and more countries are practising, which will keep prices down. Plus, the fact that we have hedged the budget against oil price increases,” said Phillips.

Fracking is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing, a type of drilling for oil by tapping shale and other tight-rock formations, which has been used commercially for 65 years, but which has been stepped up in recent years, mainly by the United States, employing cutting-edge technologies. Increased production of oil from fracking has helped to force down oil prices on the international market.

Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Middle-East-troubles-no-threat-to-Jamaica-s-energy-security—Paulwell_19239114



Category/ies:Energy Security, Jamaica News, News.
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