The assurance of Trinidad’s Energy Minister, Stuart Young may have been given prematurely when he claimed that the controversy surrounding Venezuela’s PDVSA would not affect the Dragon gas deal.
It seems there has been no word from Venezuelan counterparts on moving the deal forward. And this has sparked some concern from Trinidad.
An April 25 article from the Daily Express noted that it has been “more than a month” since the signing of what it described as “a confidentiality agreement” between the two countries “on the extraction and movement of the natural gas” but the project “is nowhere closer to bringing much needed natural gas from Venezuela to these shores”.
Dragon is meant to be Trinidad’s golden ticket to revive its struggling gas sector.
PDVSA is currently embroiled in a deep corruption scandal that has led to the arrests of over 30 high-ranking officials including an ex-PDVSA Vice President.
Venezuela’s Energy Minister, Tarek Assami even resigned from his post because of it.
Well placed sources reportedly told Daily Express that TT has paused negotiations because of the PDVSA scandal – that it is “awaiting to see what happens in Venezuela.”
And it appears that this is where Venezuela’s focus is, and not on the deal with Trinidad.
In February, the United States paved the way for the deal to go off without a hitch; the Dragon gas field is in Venezuelan waters and could see TT gaining access to 350 million cubic feet of gas per day (mcf/d) – an amount that could give its natural gas production a considerable boost.
Dragon holds 4.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas discovered on the Venezuela side of the maritime border by PDVSA.
But the arrangement is special. Per the agreed-upon conditions, Venezuela would be receiving no cash from the two-year deal. The benefits to Venezuela will be discussed during the negotiations.