Venezuela, Trinidad discuss developing Manakin-Cocuina cross-border gas

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Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago are in talks for cross-border development of the Manakin-Cocuina gas field, according to updates from PDVSA and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago. Manakin, on the Trinidad side, is in the bpTT-operated Block 5b. 

PDVSA said they held a February 14 technical conference in Caracas, including the Minister of Popular Power for Petroleum, Rafael Tellechea; Venezuela’s Deputy Minister of Gas, Juan Santana; and Trinidad’s Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young; Vice President of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Velier Quan Vie and President of bpTT, David Campbell. 

The TT Chamber said the presentations and discussions, including the exchange of technical information and negotiation of legal terms and conditions, were aimed at advancing the development of the gas field.

Venezuela and Trinidad signed a Manakin-Cocuina unitization agreement in 2015, the Chamber said. While sanctions had prevented progress in this regard, the Energy Chamber said the U.S., due to the partial relaxation of sanctions late last year, allowed for the joint development of the field.

In a post on X, Tellechea said “Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago will become the most important gas hub in the Caribbean, We will achieve this through a respectful relationship and maximizing opportunities, with confidence in our energy potential and the capabilities of our state companies.” 

Trinidad and Venezuela are also cooperating to develop the Dragon Gas field which could start gas production in 2025 at 175 million cubic feet per day (cfd), before ramping up to 350 million (cfd). Cooperation with Venezuela will also allow Trinidad to boost its gas output with the Manatee field. In 2019, Trinidad and Venezuela agreed to independently exploit their respective shares of the hydrocarbon resources from the Loran-Manatee gas field which straddles the maritime border between the two countries. Subsequently, last year, NGC Trinidad and Shell Trinidad (Manatee operator) inked an amended domestic gas sales contract in anticipation that Shell would sanction the Manatee project.

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