The value and volume of business for energy services companies remain below normal. Fifty-nine per cent of energy services companies polled indicated that the value of their business was down in the third quarter of 2018.

Fifty-four per cent of the respondents indicated that this was due to a decrease in demand for their services and thirty-nine per cent indicated that it was due to less business opportunities. 

Fifty-five per cent of respondents also indicated that the volume of their business was down in the fourth quarter of 2018. Fifty per cent of respondents indicated that this was due to a decrease in demand for their services. While there are indications in the upstream sector that the volume of work is set to increase, this is not reflected in the views of the service companies polled. One reason could be the news of the closure of the Petrotrin refinery. 

The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago’s (Energy Chamber) Energy Services Sectors Survey (ESSS) is a quarterly survey of energy services contractors which allows for such an assessment. Overall, a vibrant energy services sub-sector is integral to the overall health of the energy sector. The ESSS attempts to map the performance and optimism of our energy services sector members, providing data on their business confidence and on some of the phenomena which impact their operations and business prospects. The survey draws on information from survey participants, such as the level of confidence of service contractors and the value and volume of business in the current quarter, as well as what they project for the next quarter. 

Employment Regarding employment, in the past three months, 14 per cent of respondents indicated that total number of persons employed increased, while 41 per cent indicated that the total number of employees decreased and 45 per cent indicated that there was no change in the number of employees within their organisation. 

Capital expenditure Capital expenditure (CAPEX) authorisations over the next quarter according to the survey, suggest that most respondents are seeking to reach and engage new clients (62 per cent), while 52 per cent indicated that they would be seeking to provide new services. 

The energy services sector is an important sector of the economy: firstly, it is the largest employer in the energy sector, accounting for over one-third of total energy sector jobs. Secondly, the sector includes a large number (around 300-400) of small- to medium-sized Trinidad and Tobago-owned and operated companies. This contrasts with the rest of the oil and gas sector, which is dominated either by multinational companies or state-owned companies. With increased activity in the upstream energy sector, we anticipate that the energy services sector would benefit from seeing an increase in their value and volume of business in the upcoming year.