Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy, Stuart Young is leading a team to Caracas, Venezuela to kick off negotiations with the Bolivarian Republic for the Dragon gas deal.
According to TT media reports, Young is being supported by Trinidad’s Venezuelan Ambassador, Major General (retired), Edmund Dillon and President of the National Gas Company, Mark Loquan. They are being hosted by Venezuela’s Vice President, Delcy Eloína Rodríguez Gómez, and its oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami.
The deal has been a long time in the making. In 2018, the initial agreement to import natural gas from the offshore Dragon field was made between TT’s National Gas Company (NGC), Shell and the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A (PDVSA). But deteriorating conditions in Venezuela obstructed the deal.
Last month, the US 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 will be receiving no cash from the two-year deal. The benefits to Venezuela will be discussed during the negotiations.