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(CMC) — An agreement for the importation of cheap natural gas from Venezuela was signed on Saturday between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The terms of agreement was between the National Gas Company (NGC), the Venezuelan NGC, Shell and the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (Petroleum of Venezuela).
“We may have been able to save our industry by getting a secure source of gas for the downstream sector. It may over time also allow us to look at the expansion of the downstream sector and investments there, as long as we can show investors we have a secured stream of gas,” Rowley told journalists on the flight back from Venezuela.
He also revealed that the NGC has been able to negotiate a tranche of gas for power generation at an even lower price than the rest of the gas to be used by the petrochemical sector.
Rowley said the pipeline carrying the gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Gas field in Eastern Venezuela to Shell’s Hibiscus platform off the North Coast will be built and owned in a joint venture between the NGC and Shell Trinidad.
The estimated cost of the construction of the pipeline is over TT$1 billion (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents).
During the signing Rowley and Maduro acknowledged that the agreement had come a year and a half after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the project
The Dragon field is located within Venezuela’s maritime territory, just off the north-west coast of Trinidad.
It is close to the Hibiscus platform, jointly owned by the Trinidad and Tobago government and Shell.
Shell is also the operator of Dragon. The deal will hopefully see Venezuelan gas from Dragon transported to Hibiscus and then to Point Fortin, where Atlantic will turn it into liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Shell is also the helping the Trinidad and Tobago government develop and process gas from Loran-Manatee, which is off the south-east coast of Trinidad, and spans the maritime borders of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Loran-Manatee field has an estimated 10.25 trillion cubic feet of gas of which roughly 74 per cent belongs to Venezuela with 26 per cent belonging to Trinidad and Tobago.