(Trinidad Guardian) Energy Minister Nicole Olivierre yesterday commended state-owned Petrotrin for drilling an exploratory well in one of its fields at Sudama Trace in Fyzabad.

The well is meant to ascertain the extent of the crude formation in this area and comes as the company grapples with depressed energy prices.

Olivierre, accompanied by Petrotrin’s president Fitzroy Harewood made an inspection and site visit of well #Fyzabad 1050, yesterday.

She said the well, which spudded on January 22, and is expected to be on site for one month, is a demonstration of Petrotrin’s continued efforts in increasing its land production. The total depth is going to be 7541 feet.

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(Jamaica Gleaner) Industry Minister Anthony Hylton has signalled to prospective ganja investors that interim regulations to police the industry should be in place by March.

It would pave the way for commercial ganja and allow persons in the trade to start emerging from under the radar.

Hylton told the Financial Gleaner on the margins of the annual Cannabiz business conference, hosted by the National Alliance for the Legalisation of Ganja, that drafting instructions for the regulations had been issued to the chief parliamentary counsel and the process should be completed by the end of February.

The final set of regulations will be promulgated after further consultations, he said.

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(Caribbean News Now) WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- According to Bloomberg Business, the US is now supplying OPEC with crude oil through Curacao.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) received a cargo of West Texas Intermediate crude at the end of January at a terminal in Curacao, where PDVSA operates the refinery, according to two people familiar with the shipment. It was the first delivery since export restrictions on US crude were lifted last year.

The cargo was 548,000 barrels of crude, Matthew Smith, director of energy research company ClipperData, said by phone from New York. It arrived at Bullen Bay, Curacao, on the tanker Eagle Kuantan, according to one of the people familiar with the shipment, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The tanker loaded from Nederland, Texas, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

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(Trinidad Guardian) Two weeks after retrenched ArcelorMittal workers resumed duties at the Point Lisas plant, the company has sent home 498 employees from today with no pay.

The latest dismissals by the international steel producer saw 18 more people being sent home than the December 5 lay offs with the payroll department and port employees also receiving retrenchment letters yesterday.

According to the Steel Workers’ Union (SWUTT), the workers were given the letters yesterday, stating that from today, there will be no work for them until March 13. SWUTT are currently engaged in the judicial review of ArcelorMittal’s dismissal of workers in December and union president Christopher Henry said yesterday’s move was a violation of the order by Industrial Court president Deborah Thomas-Felix.

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(Antigua Observer) The government has announced its intention to tax telecommunications companies after it ended two agreements entered into by the previous administration.

Speaking in parliament during debate on the 2016 National Budget, Telecommunications Minister Melford Nicholas put the providers on notice, that this year, a new tax will follow the enactment of the Telecommunications Bill.

“That Bill gives the minister the opportunity to bring into being a Universal Service Fund. It will allow us to be able to derive up to 3 per cent of the gross revenues of all the telecommunication companies,” the minister declared.

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