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Energy Minister distances himself & PNM from ‘fake oil’ scandal at Petrotrin

FRANKLYN KHANEnergy Minister Franklin Khan says a probe is being conducted into the “fake oil” scandal at Petrotrin.

The issue was raised by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Sunday at the party’s national congress in Couva.

She cited an internal audit report dated August 17, 2017 which alleged that the lease operator—A&V Oil and Gas Ltd.—had inflated its oil production figures and defrauded Petrotrin of almost $100 million.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar also alleged the lease operator was a PNM financier and had close ties with senior cabinet officials.

At a news conference yesterday Mr. Khan distanced himself and the People’s National Movement from the company in question A&V Oil and Gas Ltd.

He said an interim report has already been conducted.

In the report Petrotrin said there was a vast discrepancy between the amount of oil the lease operator was stating to have delivered, what Petrotrin paid for and what was received.

Minister Khan said a lot of Petrotrin’s systems are not metered and a system called “gauging” is used.

He admitted it needs to be more robust.

Petrotrin’s internal audit report alleged there was “wilful misconduct” on the part of the employee while executing his duties during the period January to June 2017.

And President General of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union Ancel Roget says there is need for the fraud squad to intervene.

Mr. Roget was speaking on TV6’s Morning Edition programme earlier.

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