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A gas pipeline to be build by Shell from Venezuela to Trinidad



Royal Dutch Shell to build a 17 Km gas pipeline between Venezuela's gas field Dragon and TT's gas field Hibiscus

PORT SPAIN
Petroleumworld 03 17 2017

Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell is expected to build a 17 kilometre (10.6 mile) pipeline from Venezuela's shallow-water Dragon gas field to its Hibiscus platform off the north coast of Trinidad, following agreements signed Wednesday in Caracas, according to Venezuelan government statements.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young is expected to make the announcement today at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing in Port of Spain.

On Wednesday in Parliament, he said he "just came off a plane" and would make an announcement within 24 to 48 hours on what Government is doing to help the declining oil and gas sector. Hours before, he was excused from the Lower House sitting by Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George who said he was out of the country.

At a press conference in Caracas yesterday, Young said he wanted "to also welcome to the table, Shell, who have shown themselves to be a willing partner with both the Government of Venezuela as well as the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and to emphasise and to concur with my fellow minister, his excellency (Venezuela's Oil) Minister (Nelson) Martinez in telling Shell that we want to contract and crunch the time frame and to make this happen as quickly as possible and you have the full support of both Governments and our respective teams to make this a reality."

Venezuela's State-owned oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdV) President Eulogio del Pino said at the press conference: "We've signed an agreement to supply gas to Trinidad through the National Gas Company of T&T (NGC) and Shell, and also to build a gas pipeline between Venezuela and Trinidad."

US$100m investment

NGC Chairman Gerry Brooks signed on behalf of NGC while del Pino signed on behalf of PdV and Port of Spain-based Luis Prado, on behalf of Shell. NGC President Mark Loquan was also on the one-day trip to La Campina, Caracas. Young signed on behalf of the Government of T&T while Martinez signed on behalf of the Government of Venezuela. The agreements were not shared with the media. However, Young was quoted in one of the Venezuelan Government's statements as saying the development of the project could entail an investment of more than US$100 million.

The agreements cover "the construction, operation and maintenance of a gas pipeline from Dragon field, located in the north-east of the Paria Peninsula, Sucre State, to Trinidad's Hibiscus platform," a Venezuelan Government statement said.

"After this pipeline is completed, natural gas will be supplied to the Trinidadian domestic market and to a gas plant on the island, from where it is expected to be sold to the international market," the Bolivarian Government said.

"The initial idea is to start producing for Trinidad and Tobago, between two to three years, some 200 or 300 million (standard) cubic feet of gas (per day)," (mmscfd) Martinez said at the press conference at PdV headquarters in Caracas. Martinez said the gas to be exported to T&T "has the potential to be transformed into liquefied natural gas (LNG) or any kind of raw material," suggesting both Atlantic, majority-owned by Shell, and Point Lisas could benefit.

Enough to supply T&T plus export

"The Dragon field is the closest to Trinidad and has a very interesting perspective, since it can generate gas for the domestic market and for export. Gas exports are of particular interest," Martinez said. He said Venezuela has the gas potential - around 197.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven natural gas reserves - to fully satisfy T&T's domestic market and still have leftover to export.

From Wednesday, a team of experts from Shell, PdV and the NGC will work together to define the operational, commercial and legal parameters that will govern the project, Martinez said.

"We already have the infrastructure on the Trinidad side and we have the willingness to accept this challenge. The benefit for the two countries is very clear," he said.

The Dragon field is one of the four fields that make up the 14.7 tcf Mariscal Sucre Project (MSP) to the north of the Paria Peninsula, which aims to produce in the long term, 1.2 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas and up to 28 thousand barrels of oil per day. Other fields in the MSP are the Patao, Mejillones and Rio Caribe fields.

After the signing, Young paid a courtesy call on Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez, and then flew to Piarco, whence, according to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, he was whisked with "flashing blue lights" to Parliament to contribute to a bill to make borrowing from the Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) legal.

Rowley: Dragon at 'Business Plan' stage

On March 6, Opposition Member of Parliament for Caroni Central Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie asked: "Would the prime minister provide an update on the status of negotiations with Venezuelan authorities regarding the Dragon Field Project and advise this House on his assessment of progress made up to this point?"

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley responded: "Madam Speaker, as you know, these are very delicate negotiations, except to say that we have made some progress. We are at the stage of finalizing the kinds of documents that would put us on a path to move from concept to business plan, but I do not want, at this stage, to publicly discuss where we are at, given that these are very delicate and sensitive negotiations."



Story by Aleem Khan from Trinidad Express

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