US Government Approves Dragon Field Development by Trinidad and Tobago

US Government Approves Dragon Field Development by Trinidad and Tobago
US Government Approves Dragon Field Development by Trinidad and Tobago

This statement from the Prime Minister’s Office was published using an automatic translation system.

As everyone knows, the United States is our largest trading partner, and approximately 200,000 of our citizens live in the United States.

Against this strong background of friendship and cooperation, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has consistently engaged with decision makers in Washington DC and has focused on building relationships with leaders in Washington DC.

In recent years, US sanctions against Venezuela have had a negative effect on the growth of trade and cooperation within the subregion to the extent that Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago are concerned with certain spillover effects in other countries. from the Caribbean. Since 2019, I have personally been developing strong relationships with decision makers across the aisle in Washington DC.

Both myself and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister Young, have been handling the discussions in DC regarding Trinidad and Tobago, as well as other aspects of CARICOM’s engagement with the US Government and Congress. To this end, we have made many visits to the capital of the United States and have had many meetings with many officials there.

Parallel to this, the Government took a principled position towards our closest South American neighbor, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, when some other countries recognized an alternative government in Venezuela. The position of Trinidad and Tobago was based and cemented in the Charter of the United Nations when we took the position of “non-interference” and “non-intervention”.

We have always defended and encouraged that the people of Venezuela should work together to resolve their internal difficulties. In fact, TT was at the forefront from day one to encourage and facilitate dialogue between the government of President Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition. This remains our position to this day and we will continue, together with our Caricom colleagues, to support each and every one of these initiatives.

As you know, my Government has focused on the potential and possibility of developing, producing and processing gas from Venezuela in TT. We spent a lot of time, effort and energy negotiating a commercial terms sheet in 2018. Development was halted due to sanctions in 2019.

We have always seen the national and regional importance of natural gas resources in Venezuela and its proximity to the existing world-class energy infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago.

You will remember that in 2022 I made two visits to Washington DC and that I attended the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. One of these visits to Washington was to attend a US/Cariforum meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris, who was commissioned by President Biden to lead a team to work on energy security in the region. I, as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, am the Vice Chair of this initiative.

CARICOM leaders engaged with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Summit of the Americas meeting in June 2022, where we spoke at length about the importance of CARICOM in the region and, in particular, the role we could play in the region. and even global energy security.

We have spent a significant amount of time educating those who are concerned about energy and food security, about the important role that Trinidad and Tobago can play in supplying LNG and fertilizers (ammonia, urea and UAN). Minister Young and I took it upon ourselves to ensure that decision makers in the US and Europe understood that we are the only jurisdiction in the world that had immediately available capacity in the production of LNG, ammonia, urea, UAN and fair methanol. next to proven reserves and all we needed in Trinidad and Tobago was access to those reserves in and across the Venezuelan border. This message and conversation was held with the highest level of decision makers in the US, including President Biden and Vice President Harris and many congressional leaders.

We have also consistently worked with Venezuela and the Venezuelan government to keep this possibility a reality. Throughout these unusual periods of difficulty, Trinidad and Tobago maintained its centuries-old relationship with our closest neighbor, just seven miles across the water.

Energy security for the region at this time relates not only to our country, but is of great interest to Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, which currently use LNG, but also to other territories such as Barbados and Grenada, where it is being explored, and Guyana and Suriname, where gas reserves have been discovered. . Trinidad and Tobago’s access to gas and LNG use and the petrochemical industry in Trinidad will benefit CARICOM and Cariforum nations.

Vice President Harris has listened attentively and committedly to these pleas and we have been working with the White House to make energy security possible for the region and Europe once TT has access to Venezuelan gas.

Trinidad and Tobago was recently part of a Caricom team that met with the US Department of Treasury and Energy and the US Department of State on these issues.

Minister Young was also tasked with staying focused with teams from the White House, the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of State, and the Department of Energy;

We filed an application with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in mid-2022 and have been working with our attorneys in DC, as well as through other initiatives, to obtain a waiver of sanctions to continue developing the field. Dragon gas facility which is about 17 kilometers across the border from our active Hibiscus platform.

The US government today approved the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s Dragon field through an OFAC Sanctions Waiver with specific terms to be finalized.

What this means is that the restrictions on the development of the Dragon gas field have now been eased and all relevant parties can move forward with plans for Venezuela’s natural gas to eventually flow from these proven reserves to Trinidad and Tobago and then to Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean, Europe and other markets. bringing many humanitarian benefits to the Venezuelan population and greater energy security to the Caribbean region.

The article is in Spanish

Tags: Government Approves Dragon Field Development Trinidad Tobago