KEY deals this week will see TT earn more money from the sale of its natural gas, Communications Minister Stuart Young told Thursday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.
Firstly, he promised five more years of operation of Atlantic LNG Train One which exports liquefied natural gas (LNG). Secondly, TT will be paid more for its gas sold, and TT can sell its own LNG.
Proffering “excellent news,” Young said talks begun by the Prime Minister in the UK last April with BP and Shell had just concluded by respective high-powered teams.
“I’m happy to say that after months of intense and very progressive negotiations and discussions, just yesterday (Wednesday) and the day before, the Government has reached agreement with BP and with Shell.”
While the life and contractual arrangements for Atlantic LNG Train One had been due to end next April, successful talks had agreed for it to continue five more years.
“We have agreed a new pricing formula, going forward,” he added, promising details in the coming weeks.
“But what we are happy to announce is that the Government of TT and that empowered negotiating team, has been able to reach agreement with BP and Shell that significantly enhances the revenue for the people of TT, and the continuation of Train One for the next five year period.”
TT will itself be able to sell ALNG’s cargoes. “Included in that we have been able to secure, for the first time as part of the Train One arrangement, the ability for through NGC (National Gas Company) to sell LNG cargoes on behalf of the people of TT. That’s a major achievement that we did not have before.”
He thanked BP and Shell officials for their very mature attitudes and demeanour over recent months. “There were some very intense moments along the way. There were the holding of certain positions and we held a position on behalf of the people of TT that if we could not come to an agreement we would be prepared to walk away from it.”
Young said the Government and BP reached a major agreement, that BP will soon announce. “We were able to agree the first phase of negotiations with BP that will result in significant further investments in TT and the extension of a major licence for them. We will move into the second phase of negotiations with BP.”
From next week the Government will engage Shell on its terms and conditions. “We have augured well. Over the past few months we have achieved what a lot of nay-sayers said we could not do.” He said he had disproved critics who had feared any ruin of TT’s relationships with BP and Shell and any loss of foreign investment.