Petroleum Operations and Management

Petroleum Operations and Management


The  Petroleum Operations and Management Division (POMD) assists in the regulation of Energy Sector operations across the spectrum of the value chain through the grant of approvals for facilities through application of engineering standards and assessments. The Division conducts Inspections of facilities on an anniversary basis from a Health, Safety, Environmental and Asset Integrity perspective so as to reduce or eliminate identified and assessed risks to a minimum. This portfolio also safeguards the State against transfer of liabilities associated with downtime, pollution and accidents.

The Division also is charged with monitoring and witnessing petroleum measurement activities as it relates to accurately determining that the quality and quantity of extracted and sold crude petroleum and refined product delivery. On the upstream side, this activity ensures that the State derives fair and equitable returns on produced resources. On the downstream side, this portfolio ensures that end consumers get the correct specification and quantity for refined or processed product purchased.

These portfolios though distinct and separate share a commonality, owing to the energy-based installations where processing, handling and commercial transactions occur. Whenever any energy installation is approved or inspected for acceptability, the HSE and measurement technologies that make up the facilities are evaluated simultaneously in making a judgement.

Goals and Objectives

In performing the Division’s roles, functions and responsibilities the following goals and objectives are to be realised:

  1. Economic Goal:
    1. Ensure no errors in determination of quantity and quality of
      1. Produced resources (fiscalisation)
      2. Retailed products (taxation/quality control)
    2. Ensure no unauthorised deviations in Exploration, Development and Operational Plans
    3. Minimise cost over runs on projects being granted tax concessions
    4. Promote Business Continuity
  2. HSE Loss Prevention and Control Goal:
    1. Ensure proper management of risks so as to prevent serious HSE risks from manifesting and becoming incidents, which carry the potential to:
      1. Impact negatively on people, property and the environment
      2. Become an socio-economic liability that can be transferred to the State
    2. Ensure a level of preparedness among operators to deal with emergencies and minimise consequences and rippling effects.

In understanding how the division delivers on the above, the following must be noted:

Inspection Sections of the  POMD:

In administering the regulatory coverage the POMD work has been distributed in the following sectors:

  1. Upstream E&P – Facilities regulated include the Exploratory Rigs, Seismic Survey Vessels, Onshore Terminals, Offshore Platforms, Gathering Stations and High Daily Rate (HDR) Contracted Vessels.
  2. Transportation/Oil Loss – Facilities regulated in this sector include Transmission Distribution Pipelines, Well Sites, Transportation Vessels such as Road Tank Wagons (RTWs), HDR Pipelaying Barges, etc.
  3. Storage & Marketing – Facilities regulated in this sector include Bunkering/ Wholesale Facilities, Service Stations, CNG Stations, Commercial Diesel and LPG Storages.
  4. Refining & Petrochemical – Facilities regulated in this sector include LNG Terminals, Gas Processing, Methanol/ Ammonia Plants and the Refinery Plants. Quality control monitoring of all refined products sold to end consumers also fall under this sector.
  5. Measurement – Facilities regulated in this sector include all quality and quantity Devices or Equipment used at Fiscal Points for Crude Sale Tanks, Gas Metering Skids, Provers, Sampling.

Department Functions

The POMD is responsible for administration of regulatory framework in accordance with the Petroleum Act and subsidiary Regulations, through continuous regulatory coverage of all energy asset infrastructures from upstream to downstream ends of the value chain.


Core duties related are as follows:

  1. Facility Approvals governing
    • New Built
    • Modified/Upgraded
    • Reinstatement after a major accident
    • Relocation of foreign-used facilities to Trinidad and Tobago
    • Life Extensions of existing facilities
    • Pollution Abatement and Treatment Facilities
    • Bioremediation Facilities
  2. Loss Prevention Inspection Programmes
    • Annual Inspection
    • Three-year audits of Safety Management Systems
    • Assessment of third-party development applications
  3. Loss Control Intervention Activities
    • Incident Investigations
    • Pollution Response
    • Pollution Compensation Mediation
    • Coordination of National Oil Spill Contingency Programme
    • Assessment of Emergency Response Drills
    • Effluent Monitoring
    • Energy Sector Chemical Approvals
    • Coordinate the EIA Review Process in the MEEI
  4. Monitoring of Fiscal Measurement Operations
    • Crude cargoes for sales
    • Natural Gas and Condensate sales
    • Investigate Measurement Breaches/Infractions
    • Assessment and approval of measurement devices

Work Programme Philosophy

Every major facility that comprises the energy sector is assessed for approval in a first instance and inspected thereafter, annually or periodically as necessary, for determining where the system should be allowed to operate. The objectives are to determine:

  • Fitness-for-Purpose (only applicable at inception)
  • Fitness-for-Continuous Operations (maintenance, de-rating operating conditions, etc.,)
  • End-of-Life i.e., when to take system out of service based on benefit versus liabilities

Work performed by the departmental units within the Environment also takes into account matters affecting the public, State and other stakeholder groups who the MEEI is required to interface and conduct related work activities in conjunction with, such as:

  1. Town and Country Planning Division
  2. Environmental Management Authority
  3. Maritime Division
  4. Ministry of Works and Transport, Transport Division
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Authority
  6. Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service
  7. Office of Disaster Preparedness


Currently, POMD is staffed with a Petroleum Engineer, Mechanical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Environmental Officers and Petroleum Inspectors.