Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 8th 2016 Contents BG8 | ENERGY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt DECEMBER 8 • 2016
PM in Caracas...
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has revealed that
the contribution of downstream petrochemical
companies to government's coffers is greater
than Atlantic LNG and therefore they will get
priority when first gas from Venezuela lands
Speaking at a news conference on Monday night following the
signing of the agreement to bring gas from Venezuela's Dragon
field to T&T, the Prime Minister said the government would
provide gas to Atlantic LNG if there was sufficient for all but
priority must be given to the downstream petrochemical sector.
In fact, the terms of the agreement even goes as far as to
specify that the local sector will get priority for natural gas.
The agreement says that the countries will facilitate, "the
sale of natural gas volumes to the domestic market of T&T as
a priority and to international markets."
Atlantic LNG has complained bitterly about the shortage
it is facing saying it has led to the company not being able to
deliver more than 70 cargoes this year and even put its plant
at increased risk due to the fluctuation of the natural gas pro-
The Prime Minister also noted that the agreement calls for:
"The parties to take reasonable steps to facilitate the devel-
opment, construction, operation and maintenance of one or
more pipelines from the Mariscal Sucre region in Venezuela
to T&T including a pipeline from the Dragon Field to the Hi-
In addition: "The delivery of gas from fields in North Eastern
Offshore area of Venezuela to T&T."
The gas will come from the Patao, Mejillones, and Rio Caribe
fields when they are developed. The Mariscal Sucre project
includes four gas fields: Dragon, Patao, Mejillones, and Rio
Caribe. The Mariscal Sucre Dragon field is around 25 mi (40
km) north of the Paria peninsula, state of Sucre, at a water
depth of 328-427 ft (100-130 m).
The Prime Minister also revealed that the existence of Shell's
Hibiscus Platform in the North Coast Marine Area was crucial
to the rapid advancement of the project.
He even revealed that Shell---which recently bought BG
Group---was playing a vital role and is a partner with the NGC
in the project.
The BG Group-operated the North Coast Marine Area is 25
miles (40 km) off the north coast that includes four gas fields:
Hibiscus, Poinsettia, Chaconia and Ixora.
In April 2000, a Unitisation Agreement was signed, and in
December 2000 the Government of T&T approved the devel-
opment of the first three fields.
These fields are being developed in four phases to supply
gas to Atlantic LNG Trains 2, 3 and 4.
The Hibiscus platform was successfully installed in Sep-
tember 2001, in a water depth of 492 ft (150 m). The 67 mile
(107 km), 24-inch pipeline from the NCMA development to
the Atlantic LNG plant is the longest pipeline in T&T. De-
bottlenecking in September 2003 increased capacity of the
pipeline to 30 per cent above the original design.
The Prime Minister also revealed that the deal means the
country could settle the issue of gas supply going forward to
2035 and, in that context, announced that when the agreement
is fully operationalised close to a quarter of the country's gas
supply could be coming from Venezuela.
He said one billion standard cubic feet per day was in the
Dr Rowley had announced during the local government
elections campaign that he will be travelling to Caracas to
sign the agreement saying it was important to the country's
continued presence as a powerhouse in the global methanol
and ammonia markets.
The Prime Minister had chastised the last government for
what he said was their constant misleading of the country
by saying the present gas curtailment was merely due to the
recent maintenance work by bpTT.
Rowley raised alarm about the possibility that some of the
plants at Point Lisas could leave the country explaining that
they have been operating at between 20 and 30 per cent be-
low capacity and they need to operate above 90 per cent to
be profitable and therefore there is a need to ensure that the
plants have an adequate supply of natural gas.
The Business Guardian has learnt that the first gas will come
from the Dragon Field but it will only allow for 100 mmscf/d
to be supplied to T&T. This is well below the 1 bcf/d that is
required but the Venezuela has said this initial amount was
all they can offer because of their need for the additional gas
for electricity generation. However, they have agreed that the
rest will come from the other nearby fields when they are de-
veloped in the coming years.
T&T is the largest exporter of methanol in the world and the
largest exporter of ammonia to the United States. It is also the
sixth largest global exporter of LNG.
However, over the last four years the country has been
plagued by gas curtailments because of the slow production
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy,
Selwyn Lashley, left, walks across the red carpet at
the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas on
Monday morning with senior energy adviser Ken
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley thanks Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro following the signing of
agreements for T&T's development of natural gas
fields in Venezuelan maritime territory at the
Miraflores Presidential Palace.
PHOTOS: ROBERTO CODALLO
valuable than LNG
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