Jamaica Continues Repurchase Discussions

Photo: Adrian Walker Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, addressing Tuesday’s (March 27) sitting of the House of Representatives.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says a team from Venezuela is expected to visit the island shortly to continue discussions on the proposal for Jamaica to repurchase Venezuela’s 49 per cent shareholding in Petrojam Limited.
  • “This is a commercially sensitive matter, the details of which cannot be disclosed publicly at this time. We have been assured that the offer will be reviewed and considered by the Venezuelan Government, with a view to reverting to us shortly,” he said.
  • Addressing the House of Representatives on March 27, Dr. Wheatley said the necessary steps are being taken to safeguard the country’s assets, while ensuring energy security for the country.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says a team from Venezuela is expected to visit the island shortly to continue discussions on the proposal for Jamaica to repurchase Venezuela’s 49 per cent shareholding in Petrojam Limited.

Venezuela owns 49 per cent of Petrojam through the state-owned PDV Caribe, a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

“This is a commercially sensitive matter, the details of which cannot be disclosed publicly at this time. We have been assured that the offer will be reviewed and considered by the Venezuelan Government, with a view to reverting to us shortly,” he said.

Addressing the House of Representatives on March 27, Dr. Wheatley said the necessary steps are being taken to safeguard the country’s assets, while ensuring energy security for the country.

“Last week Thursday (March 22), we took one step when I, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, led a delegation to Venezuela. This meeting was the culmination of several exchanges of correspondence between myself and my counterpart Minister with responsibility for petroleum in Venezuela. The principal purpose of our visit was to formally make an offer to PDV Caribe for its 49 per cent share holding in Petrojam Limited,” he said.

The Minister said the repurchase does not mean Jamaica will be abandoning PetroCaribe.

“During our discussions, we recognised and expressed our gratitude to the Venezuelans for affording us the benefits of the PetroCaribe agreement and we assured them that the repurchase of the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam was to ensure that we are in control of our energy security going forward and, more particularly, that we are able to undertake the necessary upgrade to our refinery,” he noted.

The Minister added that the negotiations are still ongoing and that the House and the nation will be provided with information as it becomes available.

The Government’s attempt to take full control of the company comes after an Executive Order by US President, Donald Trump, last year, which imposes sanctions targeting the Government of Venezuela and its state-owned entities.

Dr. Wheatley informed that since the announcement of the Executive Order, “the relationship between Petrojam Limited and PDVSA has come under intense scrutiny, both locally and internationally.”

JIS Social