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Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 05:40 AM AST

Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela to sign more Loran-Manatee agreements

T&T, Venezuela to sign more Loran-Manatee agreements

SOURCE: NGC energy map 2017

Energy Minister Franklin Khan and Venezuelan Petroleum Minister Eulogio Del Pino met in Moscow Tuesday (Oct. 3) to evaluate progress on agreements to jointly develop offshore, cross-border gas fields Loran-Manatee in the Deltana Platform, a statement from the Venezuelan Petroleum Ministry said yesterday. Khan and Del Pino were in Moscow to attend the 19th Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) on October 4. Khan was appointed GECF president until December 31 next year.

The Venezuelans said the two discussed progress on the Dragon field, Proyecto Mariscal Sucre, in eastern Venezuela, and more negotiations of more agreements that need to be signed to get cross-border gas fields Loran and Manatee into development.

The Venezuelan Petroleum Ministry said a meeting will take place to refine the new Loran-Manatee agreements in two weeks. Khan was quoted as saying, in the Venezuelans' press release, that he "highlighted the need to agree on the commercial terms and joint ventureship to guarantee the success of the operations."

Shell country boss Derek Hudson said last week he expects the Dragon gas field to breathe first gas by 2019/2020 for T&T, and 2025 for first gas from Loran-Manatee. Shell is a shareholder in the cross-border fields, and the sole private sector partner in the Dragon gas field joint development.

At the end of 2016, Shell, T&T and Venezuela signed an agreement covering the construction, operation and maintenance of a 19 kilometre pipeline exporting 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas per day from Venezuela's Antonio platform in the Dragon field to Hibiscus, off the north coast of Trinidad. Shell Hibiscus infrastructure already connects to the majority Shell-owned Point Fortin-based Atlantic liquified natural gas (LNG) producer, and to Point Lisas, where the other partner, T&T's state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) is based. Atlantic is the seventh largest LNG exporter in the world.

Venezuela has 197.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas reserves, the largest pool of proven reserves in the hemisphere and one of the largest in the world but no LNG plant.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his October 2 reading of the budget speech for fiscal 2018 said: "Further ahead, production from the 10 tcf cross-border Loran-Manatee field between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago is expected to commence as early as 2023, providing access to the 2.69 tcf portion of gas within Trinidad and Tobago's territory. It is also quite possible, once the current negotiations bear fruit that over 7 tcf of gas on the Venezuelan side can be processed at this country’s Atlantic LNG facility."

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