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Trinidad and Venezuela will soon finalize a deal that will open the door to natural gas supply from the latter to the former country, according to Trinidad's Prime Minister Keith Rowley.
"We are very close to the final sign offs of a gas sales agreement which will clear the way for operations of a pipeline from the Dragon fields to the existing Hibiscus platform, involving PDVSA, NGC and Shell," Rowley said in an address to the nation.
Rowley said the sales deal will allow access to "much needed" gas for Trinidad's industrial plants at Point Lisas.
"This agreement not only had a ripple effect throughout the industry but it immediately cleared the way for a US$10bn investment program over the next five years," he said.
Rowley also addressed financial and operational challenges of state oil company Petrotrin.
"Athough Petrotrin produces over 50% of the country's oil, it is not paying its oil royalties and taxes in any timely manner, or at all, which is an unacceptable state of affairs that will not be allowed to continue in 2018," he said.
Rowley added that if nothing is done, the NOC could lose some US$1.5bn over the next five years.
Last week, Petrotrin's new board submitted recommendations to the cabinet to revamp the state company.