Trinidad could tap gas from Venezuela’s Loran field too, Young tells Parliament

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy Stuart Young announced on October 9 that negotiations are underway to secure gas supply from the Loran side of the Loran/Manatee gas field shared by Venezuela and the twin island republic nation. 

Speaking during his budget 2024 debate, Young revealed that discussions with Venezuelan counterparts regarding the Dragon gas deal have progressed significantly in recent months since the signing. The talks also explore the potential export of natural gas from the bordering Loran field, which is expected to further address the urgent need for increased gas supply in TT. 

Young expressed confidence in the prospective supply from Loran, stating, “It is only natural that Loran will follow. I can tell TT, in my recent discussions with the Venezuelans, in particular President [Nicolas] Maduro and Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez, they are looking at Loran coming to TT.”

Originally, the Loran-Manatee gas field, located on the continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean, was intended to be developed through a bilateral agreement with Venezuela, enabling Trinidad to produce gas from the shared field. However, in 2020, Trinidad decided to develop its side of the field independently due to US sanctions.

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The Loran-Manatee gas field is part of a vast offshore reservoir, boasting approximately 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Shell has sought clearance from Trinidad regulators to produce gas from the Manatee side, a US$1.8 billion project that would achieve first gas in 2028.

The Dragon deal, which could see the countries exporting gas by 2025, involves transporting the supply to Trinidad’s Atlantic LNG plant via a Shell-owned offshore platform. Young has estimated the field could start with an output of 175 million cubic feet per day and ramp up to 350 million cubic feet per day.

Both the Loran-Manatee and Dragon developments have significant potential to augment Trinidad’s gas production capabilities.

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