TT’s position on Venezuela bad for Dragon Gas deal – Persad-Bissessar

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On August 25, 2018, an agreement was made between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for the importation of methane gas from Venezuela's Dragon Field.

Former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and current Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says that government’s support for embattled leader of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro could jeopardise the recently signed Dragon Gas deal.

Through this arrangement, it was envisaged that natural gas supplies would have been sent from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago’s Hibiscus platform.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Maduro on Saturday August 25, 2018 sealed the deal to allow Trinidad and Tobago to process Venezuelan natural gas for the first time.

A LoopTT article said Persad-Bissessar, speaking in Parliament on on January 25, said: “Many on the other side condemned me…That is not the way to go if we want this project to bring the gas that we need and to bring revenue.”

“The actions of the government may well see us kiss the Dragon deal goodbye,” she said.

Former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud had accused Trinidad and Tobago of acting in its own economic interest in partnering with Venezuela on a gas deal. “Every country is entitled to pursue economic and diplomatic relations that best serves its interest. But the pursuit of this interest must not be to the detriment of others, particularly a sister country in a community of nations,” Persaud said.

Persaud asked whether Trinidad and Tobago consulted with or briefed Guyana of its intention to strike the gas deal with Caracas and whether elements of the agreement would affect Guyana’s border case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). “Can this be interpreted as an indirect way to slow the emergence of our own oil and gas sector? Should we not assess the TT companies to benefit from the Dragon deal to gauge their participation in our own oil and gas sector to determine issues of potential conflict?” Persaud asked.