Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young has said that the government does not know as yet if the US sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA would affected the gas deal between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.
"We are seeking advice to determine how they may affect the deal," Young said in response to a question by Opposition Leader in the Senate, Wade Mark.
He said it was premature at this time to say what, if any, effects it may have.
The US announced on Monday that it was implementing sanctions against PDVSA, which will involve all revenue earned from the sale of oil and gas in the US, being placed into a blocked account inaccessible to the current Maduro-led regime.
The US has recognised the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the interim president of Venezuela.
In November 2018, opposition lawmaker and member of the Venezuelan Assembly, Carlos Valero warned Government that any treaties or contracts signed between the two countries and which had not been passed by the National Assembly in Venezuela might not be honoured in the future.
Valero had claimed the National Assembly was the only legitimate body in Venezuela with the authority to ensure that agreements were legal and would be honoured moving forward.
Valero urged local law-makers not to be swayed or manipulated by the promises of the current Venezuelan administration.
On August 27, 2018 the Prime Minister and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed an agreement in Caracas that will allow the island to access gas from the offshore Dragon field.
Rowley had told the media then, “We may have been able to save our industry by getting a secure source of gas for the downstream sector. It may over time also allow us to look at the expansion of the downstream sector and investments there, as long as we can show investors we have a secured stream of gas.”
The Prime Minister was not willing to disclose the price of the gas, pointing to commercial confidentiality, but he revealed it will be 150 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d), with the possibility of it increasing to 300 mmscf/d.
The pipeline carrying the gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Gas field in Eastern Venezuela to Shell’s Hibiscus platform off the North Coast will be built and owned in a joint venture between the NGC and Shell Trinidad.
The estimated cost of the construction of the pipeline is close to TT $1 billion.
T&T has been suffering from gas curtailment for the last six years and it has led to a shortfall in the production of all the commodities including LNG and Petrochemicals and as a consequence significant loss of revenue to the treasure and foreign exchange. Trinidad and Tobago will receive its first gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Field in 2020, according to Bolivarian Republic’s Minister of Energy, Manuel Quevedo.