The Ministry of Energy had its earliest beginnings in 1904 when the Mines Department was established to deal with the production of manjak, a bituminous substance resembling pitch. Commercial oil production began in Trinidad in 1908 in a field located near the Pitch Lake in La Brea and in 1948 the Mines Department which was a branch of the Public Works was reorganized and re-designated the Petroleum Department. This Department was later assigned to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. On May 17, 1963, the Department gained greater autonomy when the Governor General authorized the establishment of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines which came into being on June 1, 1963 with the staff of the Petroleum Departmen tforming the nucleus of the organization.
Commencing July 1979, there have been six changes in the name of the Ministry. With the development of natural gas based petrochemical industries and the iron and steel mill at Point Lisas, the name was changed to the Ministry of Energy and Energy-based Industries, to incorporate its increased responsibilities. In May, 1981,there was another change to the Ministry of Energy and State Enterprises when the supervision of all State Enterprises was included in the portfolio of the incumbent Minister. A re-assignment of ministerial responsibility in December, 1981, resulted in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and in April 1987, the name was shortened to the Ministry of Energy. In December, 1987, the Ministry of Energy was merged with the Ministry of Labour and took on the new designation of the Ministry of Energy, Labour, Employment and Manpower Resources. In March 1989, however, the portfolio of Energy was separated from that of Labour, Employment and Manpower Resources and the Ministry of Energy was re-established as a single entity.