Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T signs gas deal with Venezuela
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine left yesterday for Caracas where he was expected to formalise an agreement with Venezuela today for development of cross-border gas fields. Ramnarine is expected to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart Rafael Ramirez to sign an agreement for T&T and Venezuela to jointly produce gas from fields located between the two countries.
Ramnarine’s adviser Frank Look Kin made the announcement yesterday when he represented the minister at the Energy Chamber of T&T’s post-budget breakfast forum at Cara Suites Hotel, Claxton Bay. Look Kin said the agreement set out the “functional structure and governance of the unit operator for the Loran-Manatee unit area.” Energy Chamber of T&T president Roger Packer welcomed the news. He said the agreement had been ten years in the making and was a very important step for T&T.
“We have a lot of stranded reserves in Loran/Manatee and some of our other cross-border fields and if we could get to utilise those reserves it could also help in solving some of the problems we have had in meeting our gas requirements,” he said. Under the agreement, Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA will work with US company Chevron to develop an offshore natural gas field, one of three that span the two countries’ maritime border.
The deal follows six years of talks about how to share the reserves fairly. Venezuela wants to develop its neglected natural gas fields, in part to feed demand for electricity that is straining its hydropower production network. The PDVSA-Chevron joint venture will explore the largest of the shared fields, the Loran-Manatee bloc. The Loran-Manatee field has proven reserves of just over 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf)—under the agreement 73.75 per cent belongs to Venezuela and the rest to T&T.
Venezuela was allocated 64 per cent of the second-largest bloc, Cocuina Manakin, which has 0.74 tcf of reserves, while T&T has 84 per cent of the third, the 0.31 tcf Dorado-Kapot field. There is no word on when the joint venture will start work. Chevron currently participates in six onshore and offshore production projects in Venezuela, in partnership with PDVSA.
Under the agreement, PDVSA will build a gas pipeline of about 170 miles (274 kms) from the Loran-Manatee bloc to the Paria Peninsula on the Venezuelan coast. That area is the focus of a high profile but long delayed Venezuelan offshore natural gas project called Mariscal Sucre, where reserves are estimated at 14.7 tcf.
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