Barbados said Wednesday it is holding discussions with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that it had with the Trinidad and Tobago state-owned oil company, Petrotrin.
Petrotrin late last month announced the closure of its oil refinery blaming increasing financial losses. The closure has led to the retrenchment of more than 1,700 employees.
In a statement, the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL) said it currently imports gasoline from and sells its crude oil to Petrotrin, while diesel and fuel oil are sourced extra-regionally.
It said kerosene is imported by the oil companies Sol and Rubis.
BNOCL said that at the time of the Petrotrin announcement regarding the oil refinery, Barbados was exporting annually 260,000 barrels of crude oil to the Trinidad-based refinery and importing 60,000 barrels of gasoline on a monthly basis.
It said the annual contract with Petrotrin entailed the exchange of the crude oil for gasoline, which aided in the reduction of the foreign exchange cost, as the value of the crude offset the outlay for the gasoline.
BNOCL’s said its storage capacity for gasoline is 80,000 barrels.
“As at Wednesday, September 12, 2018, BNOCL’s gasoline stock level was 53,582 barrels of gasoline, which is enough inventory for 25 days. Another shipment of 30,000 barrels is expected from Petrotrin on the weekend of September 15, which will provide inventory for about 38 days’ supply.
“BNOCL will receive its final shipment of 30,000 to 35,000 barrels from Petrotrin during the period September 24 to 28, and along with the previous shipments, will be sufficient to supply local consumption requirements until November 5 at a usage rate of 2000 barrels a day.”
The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources said that through BNOCL, it has been in discussion with a number of suppliers with a view to employing a similar arrangement to that with Petrotrin.
‘”The goal is to ensure that this country has a consistent supply of gasoline at an affordable price, while securing a market for Barbados’ crude oil. BNOCL has never had a stock-out of petroleum products and always has adequate inventory to service Barbados, and is ever mindful of the need to do so, particularly during the hurricane season.”
The government said it wanted to assure all Barbadians that it “is keeping ahead of the situation to ensure that despite the closure of the Petrotrin refinery, there will be no shortage of gasoline in Barbados”.