(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela have rescinded the agreement to jointly develop 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Loran-Manatee field.
The countries will instead develop the Loran-Manatee field independently.
The announcement was made yesterday morning by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during the opening of the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference and Trade Show at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
Rowley said US sanctions on Venezuela had made it all but impossible to jointly develop the gas.
He said: “Progress in the development of the unitised Loran-Manatee field has been impeded by the sanctions imposed by the US Government, which inhibits US companies from doing business with Venezuelan Oil Company, PDVSA .This impacts on the ability of US company Chevron, which has a 60% interest in the Loran field, to participate in the development of the Loran-Manatee Field. As a consequence the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela have agreed to the independent development by each Government of the field within the Loran-Manatee cross-border that falls within its marine area.”
The Loran-Manatee gas field straddles the TT-Venezuela maritime border with approximately 30 per cent of the acreage lying within TT waters. The entire field is estimated to contain 10.25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
As a result of the development, Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited, which holds 100 per cent interest in the Manatee Field, has agreed to develop the field.
The Loran-Manatee has an estimated resource of 10.04 tcf, with 2.712 tcf within the Manatee field, and Shell has projected that gas production could start in the 2024/2025 period at rates ranging from 270 to 400 million standard cubic feet per day.
According to Rowley, Shell is in conversation with the Government and is working on various development scenarios to determine the best option.
“This major policy shift which frees up investment and development of Manatee gas also provides easy access to market for all gas from these fields if the circumstances permit and the owners so desire” he said.
He said that the domestic energy sector is due for a further lift as oil production is set to rise, with an estimated production increase to in excess of 90,000 barrels a day by 2022.