ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan said the Dragon gas deal with Venezuela being on hold will not affect the country’s planned gas supply.
He was responding to a question in Senate Tuesday from Opposition Senator Wade mark on what were the implications for the future gas supplies to this country from Government’s decision to put the deal on hold. Khan in his reply pointed out that the Prime Minister at the opening day of the Energy Conference Monday reported that Government did not unilaterally put the deal on hold but it was due to US sanctions and at a moment’s notice if sanctions were lifted the deal was ready to move ahead since virtually all the preparatory work had been done.
“With regards to the gas forecast I am pleased to announce that based on the outlook for gas production in the short to medium term the delay in the status of Dragon will have no adverse impact on the availability of gas supply.”
He explained that Dragon gas was not factored into the ministry’s forecast. He reported that gas production is expected to increase to four bcf (billion cubic feet) per day in the year 2024 and at 2025 the Manatee project will come on stream and that is scheduled to bring in 270-400 million cubic feet per day. Mark asked if the minister if gas supply to the industry, particularly at Point Lisas, could be guaranteed. Khan said the two components of gas are reliability of supply and quantity and the second is price.
He added there are new developments in the gas sector internationally including shale gas in the US which has brought down the price of gas and TT’s cost of production has been increasing slightly over the years.
“So there is a very delicate balance in evaluating the gas value chain.”
He reported the National Gas Company (NGC) is in very sensitive discussions with the downstream sector and gas contracts have been completed with most downstream sector. He said the couple gas contracts that are outstanding he hoped would be amicably settled. Khan was also asked the names of the members of the negotiating team that greed to the new gas prices governing the purchase of natural gas between NGC and major gas producers. He reported it was a cross-functional team from the NGC that included the commercial, legal, operations and financial divisions. He said the team was led by the NGC president and the board and there were discussions with the Government.