Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela
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Trinidad puts Dragon gas plans on hold, goes it alone at Manatee

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Trinidad puts Dragon gas plans on hold, goes it alone at Manatee

Trinidad and Tobago will be ready to develop the offshore Dragon field "at a moment's notice" despite postponing the project indefinitely, according to Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

US sanctions on Venezuela have made the initiative – a joint venture between Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Trinidad's NGC and Royal Dutch Shell – unviable in the near term, Rowley said.

"It is regrettable that we cannot move ahead with the Dragon project which is on hold, at this time, due to US sanctions on Venezuela," Rowley told attendees at an energy event in Port-of-Spain.

"At a moment's notice, we'll be ready to move ahead with the project on the lifting of such restrictions since virtually all the preparatory work has been done."

Under a preliminary deal signed in March 2017, PDVSA agreed to export up to 150Mf3/d (4.2Mm3/d) of gas from Dragon to the Shell-operated Hibiscus platform in Trinidad via a new 17km pipeline.

The Caribbean nation's energy officials have said that additional gas supply is needed to meet demand from petrochemical facilities at Point Lisas on the west coast.

Venezuela, racked by years of economic and political turmoil, is also keen to raise gas production to provide much-needed export revenue and supply local thermoelectric power plants.

Loran-Manatee

Despite the Dragon stalemate, Trinidad and Tobago is pushing ahead with plans to develop the Loran-Manatee shallow-water field straddling its maritime border with Venezuela. 

"We are proceeding with the Manatee initiative which is the single most significant development in the energy sector in recent times," Rowley said. 

Rowley said both countries have agreed to separately pursue gas production at Loran-Manatee, having previously planned to jointly develop the area alongside partner Chevron Corp

According to the Venezuelan government, Loran-Manatee holds about 10.25Tf3 of gas (290Bm3), 74% of which belongs to Venezuela. Officials previously said the field would begin production in 2022 with the gas to be developed in Trinidad and Tobago, where infrastructure is in place for the production of LNG, methanol, ammonia and urea.

BP

In related news British oil and gas major BP said Tuesday it plans to sharpen its focus on local content in its Trinidad and Tobago operations. 

In a statement, the company said that over 90% of labor resources used in the Galeota Expansion project, due to come onstream this year, have been sourced locally. 

Meanwhile 60% of field procurement for the project has been with TT suppliers and 100% of construction services (100%) have been delivered by local sub-contractors. 

"The company in January published an expression of interest covering a number of services to support the operations and launch of a website to facilitate the submission of information for vendors interested in working with BPTT," it said. 

With 15 offshore production platforms, BP is the country’s largest hydrocarbon producer, accounting for more than half of the island nation’s gas production.

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