TT Energy Expert urges cautious approach to Dragon Gas Deal

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Energy Strategist and Advisor Anthony Paul has urged Trinidad and Tobago to get its proverbial ducks in order before approaching the Dragon gas deal with Venezuela’s state-own PDVSA.

“I think that we have a bigger role to play on the ground and that requires stronger technical competence which we have tended to dissipate over the years and a better adherence to the regulations we have, as it relates to bringing them up to date because our oil and gas regulations are over 50 years old…so we have a lot to do still before we go out and engage others asking them for help,” Paul commented during an interview on TT’s TV6 News.

Quality of life for Trinidadians at risk if no new gas projects come online soon – Rowley | OilNOW

The Energy Expert believes that TT should not appear to be “begging cap-in-hand” but to negotiate strategically to get the best deal.

“Because if you go to the negotiating table asking for everything, we will lose, every time. We might think we win and we will win some things but in the end, we will not win the majority” Paul noted.

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 very well see its gas sector rise to the top once again.

But while positives abound, Anthony Paul said there are certain areas TT must strengthen before going all in, since the deal will be unique as Venezuela is still saddled with sanctions.

Trinidad & Tobago reports significant fall in natural gas production | OilNOW

A senior US official told Reuters that the administration of Nicolas Maduro will not be allowed to receive cash payments from the Dragon gas project. Reuters said that Dragon holds 4.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas discovered on the Venezuela side of the maritime border by PDVSA.

TT Prime Minister, Keith Rowley said gas production in the country is at 2.8 billion cubic feet per day bcf/day, down from a peak of 4.1 bcf. Trinidad is looking at several projects which started up in 2022 to reverse recent declines in gas production levels. Rowley is hopeful for other key projects to start-up over the next few years.

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