Our History

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin) was incorporated in 1993 to consolidate the interests of the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company Limited (Trintoc) and the Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company Limited (Trintopec).

Our Company’s roots can be traced to the beginning of commercial oil production in Trinidad and Tobago through our predecessors- an amalgamation of international energy companies, all of whom played important roles in the development of the nation’s energy sector.

While state-owned Trintoc and Trintopec were formed in 1974 and 1985 respectively, some of Petrotrin’s earlier predecessors included Trinidad Leaseholds Limited, BP, Shell, Texaco and others.

Through these predecessors, Petrotrin’s interests in the energy sector covered a wide range of operations from exploration and production to refining and marketing. All of the country’s major oil finds on land, some of which date back to the early 1900s, were consolidated into Petrotrin’s interests when our Company was formed, so that its acreage covers most of the southwestern peninsula of the island of Trinidad.

Major local discoveries on land include the discovery of oilfields at Guayaguayare (1903), Guapo (1907), Forest Reserve (1914), Barrackpore (1911), Fyzabad (1919), Palo Seco (1926), and Penal (1936). The major Soldado Field, offshore Point Fortin, was discovered in 1955. Our Public Education booklet, Pride of Point Fortin, documents the early days of prospecting in Trinidad and Tobago leading up to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Guapo, Point Fortin.

Read Our Milestones for a record of our history over the years.

  • Offshore Production
  • Offshore Production

    Offshore production remains a major part of our upstream division. The South West Soldado Field at Trinmar is one of our most prolific fields, having initiated production in 1955.

    Today, South West Soldado Field Development is one of the most immediate opportunities for increasing our indigenous crude oil production.

  • Brighton Well in T&T in 1914Pioneers in E&P
  • Brighton Well in T&T in 1914

    Pioneers in E&P

    Petrotrin, through its predecessors, claims a rich history in this country's energy sector as its roots can be traced to the earliest days of production. Following the discovery of oil on the Aripero Estate by Sir Walter Darwent in 1866, energy explorers discovered oil fields across the western peninsula of Trinidad. 

    Major discoveries on land include the discovery of oilfields onshore at Guayaguayare (1903), Guapo (1907), Forest Reserve (1914), Barrackpore (1911), Fyzabad (1919), Palo Seco (1926), and Penal (1936). 

    The major Soldado Field, offshore Point Fortin, was discovered in 1955.

    These are just some of the discoveries in which Petrotrin has interests.

  • Longstanding Neighbours
  • Longstanding Neighbours

    Petrotrin inherited from its predecessor companies, a rich tradition of support for community development, culture, education, sport and our nation’s youth.

    Through initiatives like Southern Games and Palo Seco Games, we have built upon this tradition and are now one of the foremost sponsors of sport and youth development programmes in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Pointe-a-Pierre RefineryThe Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery
  • Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery

    The Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery

    The Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery was built by Petrotrin predecessor Trinidad Leaseholds Limited (TLL) in 1917. The refinery, which later became the largest refinery in the country, went through a number of transformations over the years as it grew to become the most important refinery in the country. 

    When US Company Texaco took over the operations of the refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre in 1956, it was considered the largest oil refinery in the Commonwealth with a throughput of approximately 80,000 barrels per day. Under Texaco, the refinery was further expanded. 

    In 1960, the completion of further expansion at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, known as Project 1236, brought the total refinery capacity to 350,000 bpd making the refinery the largest at the time, in terms of throughout, in the British Commonwealth, and the second largest in Texaco. During the Textrin (Texaco Trinidad) regime, the petrochemicals slate was widened considerably. Under Texaco, the Company also reclaimed 17 acres of land from the sea at Pointe-a-Pierre- acreage which was used to house several of the Company's refining Departments. 

    The Government acquired the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery along with other Texaco assets, with the exception of Trinmar, in 1985. These assets were vested in Trintoc and later incorporated in Petrotrin.

  • Offshore Platform in TrinmarMaintaining Licences
  • Offshore Platform in Trinmar

    Maintaining Licences

    In the oil and gas industry, the renewal of licences forms an essential part of ensuring future growth for the business and by extension, the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. Petrotrin maintains licences for all aspects of its operations.

    In December 2012, a number of E&P licences were signed for energy fields and assets in Point Ligoure, Guapo Bay, Brighton Marine Areas, TNA (Trinidad Northern Areas) Block and North Marine Block.

  • The Point Fortin Refinery
  • The Point Fortin Refinery

    While today there is only one petroleum refinery in operation in Trinidad and Tobago, there was at one time several refineries in operation. These smaller refineries were operated by Petrotrin's predecessors during the early days of the development of this country's energy sector. 

    During the early 1900s, there were refineries at Point Fortin, Pointe-a-Pierre, Palo Seco, Santa Flora and Brighton, La Brea to name a few. In time, most of these refineries were closed, with just Point Fortin and Pointe-a-Pierre continuing in operation. 

    The Point Fortin refinery, constructed in 1912 by Petrotrin predecessor UBOT (later Shell), was considered this country's oldest petroleum refinery until it was closed during the 1990s to make way for the introduction of the Atlantic LNG Plant. The remaining assets of the refinery were consolidated into Petrotrin's Point Fortin terminalling operations, which continue today.