Point Fortin has played a crucial role in the economic welfare and development of T&T. While Point Fortin is the smallest
borough in T&T, it has produced millions of barrels of oil which this country has exported and the revenues derived used for the
construction of much of its infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.
Crude oil was first discovered in the area in 1906 and it was the basis of Point Fortin moving from an agriculture village into a major oil-producing centre. The town grew with the oil industry between the 1940s and 1980s, culminating in its elevation to borough status in 1980.
Facts about Point
Location: Point Fortin is located in southwestern Trinidad, about 32 kilometres (20 miles) southwest of San Fernando.
History: At the
beginning of the 20th century, (before the discovery of oil) Point Fortin was a sparsely populated agricultural community with three
distinct and separately owned cocoa and coconut estates. Employment was provided for a small number of workers who depended on the
estates for their living accommodation as well as their food and other supplies. Travel in and out of Point Fortin was by coastal
steamers as there was no road into or out of the area. The inhabited area was located along the seacoast. In 1907, the Trinidad Oilfields
moved into Point Fortin on an expedition for the exploration of oil and sank its first oil well on the La Fortunee Estates. That company
turned out to be the only one that survived successfully, although there had been several similar expeditions by other oil companies.
The company later changed its name to the United British Oilfields of Trinidad, then became Shell Trinidad Ltd. In 1974, it was acquired
by the government and named Trintoc or the T&T Oil Company, today known as Petrotrin.
Municipal Status: Elevated to Borough in 1980 and managed by a Borough Council, which is currently lead by His Worship Clyde Paul.
Economy: The change from an agricultural- to an oil-based economy made a significant impact in Point Fortin. There was rapid development in the construction of dwelling houses, plant, pipelines and oil tanks in the area. Point Fortin has boomed, and labour, particularly skilled labour for the new technology, was scarce and posed a major problem. Trinidadians did not seem to be attracted to the area. Although people migrated from all over the country, the population in 1931 was less than 500. There were very few houses, no schools, and recreational and other facilities. As a result, Trinidadians who went to work in Point Fortin never took their families with them. However, this changed when the company realized that in order to attract and retain workers, they needed to develop the area. This encouraged families to settle in the area, and coupled with a growth in the commercial sector, brought about such facilities as a post office, police station as well as other governmental agencies and banks.
All local banks, credit unions and finance houses are represented in the borough, with government and denominational schools also available at primary and secondary levels. Tertiary education programs are also offered at the Point Fortin campus of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).
Several à la carte and fast food dining and refreshment facilities are also available.
Current Population: 25,000 persons approximately (2013)