PDVSA has struck a deal to export natural gas from Venezuela’s Dragon field via the Atlantic LNG plant in Trinidad & Tobago.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed the agreement with Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley. Under the deal, Trinidad will purchase 150 mmcf (4.25 mcm) per day of gas from the Dragon field, offshore Sucre, with the possibility of doubling this at some point in future.
Gas will be produced via a 17-km link to the Hibiscus platform, in Trinidadian waters. First gas is anticipated in 2020, with work costing US$100 million. The agreement is said to have taken two years to reach. An agreement on energy co-operation was struck in March 2017.
“Venezuela’s resources of natural gas have never been an input [for Trinidad] but after today, Venezuela’s gas will come to the international market to be monetised for the benefit of the people of Venezuela, and with that being so, the sky is the limit,” said Rowley.
The prime minister did not reveal the price agreed for the Venezuelan gas but, according to the local Guardian newspaper, it is less than some Trinidadian producers are being paid.
“We may have been able to save our industry by getting a secure source of gas for the downstream sector. It may over time also allow us to look at the expansion of the downstream sector and investments there, as long as we can show investors we have a secured stream of gas,” Rowley told journalists on the flight back from Venezuela.
In addition to gas flowing to the Atlantic LNG plant, feedstock is also expected to go to power plants. The head of PDVSA, Manuel Quevedo, will travel to Trinidad & Tobago to work on further details covering a “comprehensive” oil and gas agreement, the Venezuelan company said.
According to a statement from Rowley’s office in June, officials from Royal Dutch Shell had participated in the talks. Shell has substantial stakes in the Atlantic LNG facility’s four trains, which have 14.8 million tpy of capacity. The Point Fortin-based plant was commissioned in 1999.