Venezuela, Trinidad begin price talks for gas exports from Dragon field
Oct 9 (Reuters) - Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, along with firms participating in a joint offshore project, have begun price negotiations for exporting Venezuelan natural gas to the Caribbean island, following a U.S. authorization received earlier this year, Trinidad's energy minister said.
Minister Stuart Young on Monday briefed Trinidad's Parliament on the status of the 4.2-trillion-cubic-feet Dragon project, which has remained stalled for more than a decade due to lack of investment and, more recently, U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) NGC’s HSSE strategy is reflective and supportive of the organisational vision to become a leader in the global energy business.
An agreement recently signed in Caracas with Venezuela included both governments' intention to move Dragon forward. If price negotiations are successful, the parties, which also include Shell, state-run PDVSA and the National Gas Company (NGC) from Trinidad, could sign a gas license, a production-sharing agreement and relevant contracts.
Young said that meetings with his Venezuelan counterparties have progressed in recent months, including the possibility that natural gas from another bordering field, Loran, also could be exported to Trinidad, which urgently needs to increase gas supply to its petrochemical and liquefied natural gas plants.
"It is only natural that Loran will follow," he said. "They (Venezuela's government officials) are looking at Loran coming to Trinidad and Tobago."
The business model for Loran has not been announced. The field is part of a large 10-trillion-cubic-feet offshore reservoir shared by both countries on the Caribbean Sea that the governments have failed to unitize for joint development.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in 2019 agreed to allow Trinidad to independently develop its portion of the promising field.
Shell, which leads the project on Trinidad's side, has progressed in recent years to individually develop its portion of the field, called Manatee. The company is seeking environmental approval and it has yet to make a final investment decision about it.
(Reporting by Curtis Williams and Marianna Parraga; Editing by Mark Porter and Andrea Ricci)