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Friday, October 31 2014 @ 10:54 PM AST

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Where To Snorkel in Tobago

From colourful reef fish and the mighty manta ray to beautiful corals and curious crustaceans, Tobago has a rich variety of marine life which is just waiting to be discovered. It is no surprise then that the island has been named as the second best place in the Caribbean for snorkelling by USA Today. The best snorkelling sites are along Tobago's Caribbean Sea coastline. If you want any advice, visit any member of the Association of Tobago Dive Operators. Details can be found at www.tobagoscubadiving.com.

Store Bay: Kariwak Reef starts straight off the beach on the left hand-side. The easy access and the general lack of current here makes it an easy place to snorkel, especially if you are a beginner. The gently sloping reef, which gets deeper the further out you swim, offers an array of hard and soft corals and marine life. Here you can expect to see reef fish, such as parrotfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, creole wrasse and goatfish feeding on the sand. Banded coral shrimp and small Caribbean spiny lobster can also be seen; the occasional southern stingray or spotted eagle ray may also fly by.

Buccoo Reef: This reef is only accessible by glass bottom boat, and there are plenty of operators who regularly make the trip from Store Bay throughout the day. Many of them also supply snorkelling equipment. This trip gives snorkellers and non-snorkellers alike the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Tobago's underwater world. There is a chance to spot an array of Caribbean fish including French angelfish, bigeyes, sergeant majors, trunkfish and queen angelfish.

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Trinidad & Tobago oil production climbs in October

T&T's budgeted revenue from energy has not been compromised, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said yesterday at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya while opening an oil and gas expo and conference. He said that while the question of numbers would be best posed to the Ministry of Finance, "Thus far the government's forecast revenue stream has not been compromised into the current fiscal year."

He said several factors are offsetting the fall in oil prices for T&T, including that the crude oil produced here is still US$2 above what was budgeted. Although T&T's budget is calculated using the international price of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the country produces Galeota Mix crude (Repsol and BP) and Calypso crude (BHP Billiton) and Petrotrin crude (Petrotrin).

He said also that while the oil prices are heading south, the country's production is heading north. Giving oil production numbers (officially unreported by the ministry since August), Ramnarine said T&T's oil production is climbing, having averaged 85,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in October. The minister compared this to averages of 81,000 bopd over the last 2-3 years.

Oil production averaged 82,184 bopd in August 2014, according to official ministry data. In September 2014, oil production averaged 84,848 bopd, an October 2014 press release about an LGO plc call on the minister said. In October 2013, the country's average production was 83,669 bopd.

Ramnarine told reporters the growth is driven by: increased production from Repsol, which has been able to put its recent find into production quickly; increased condensate production from BP; and increased production from smaller operators like LGO plc (Leni Gas & Oil).

Another reason citizens need not worry is that of the approximately 50 per cent of the country's revenue that comes from energy, not all of it is from extracted from the oil dollar. He said around $2 billion per year is paid in royalties on oil and gas; and corporation tax is paid by companies in Point Lisas and Atlantic LNG.

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Trinidad & Tobago among top 10 "doing business" improvers worldwide