Young signs NDA with Venezuelan oil company

Energy Minister Stuart Young - File photo/Ayanna Kinsale
Energy Minister Stuart Young - File photo/Ayanna Kinsale

Minister of Energy Stuart Young signed a non-disclosure agreement with PDVSA on Tuesday, in his latest visit to Venezuela concerning the billion-dollar Dragon Gas project.

The agreement “governs the negotiations between the parties and the exchange of information as we progress the technical and commercial aspects of the planned development,” Young said in a media release.

The TT delegation included permanent secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries Ms Pennelope Bradshaw Niles, president of NGC Mark Loquan, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to Venezuela Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon, and other members from NGC’s executive.

Also present were senior vice president of Shell TT Eugene Okpere and other members of Shell.

Last Thursday, Young told Reuters while at CERAWeek in Houston that he planned to make another visit to Venezuela to continue talks on the Dragon deal. A month before that he visited the country, being welcomed by Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodrigues, to discuss hydrocarbons and joint projects.

The Dragon deal, if successful, will give TT access to the field said to be holding about 4.2 tscf (trillion standard cubic feet) of natural gas. The project will be able to feed an approximated 150 mscf/day (million standard cubic feet per day) to TT.

The Dragon deal stalled in 2018 after Venezuela was hit hard with sanctions, disallowing countries from conducting deals with the country. After lobbying to the US, TT was granted an exemption from the sanctions put on Venezuela. The sanctions, however, came with conditions, one of which was that TT was not allowed to make any payments in cash to Venezuelan officials or companies.

Another clause restricted the exemption period to two years, instead of the ten year exemption requested by the TT Government.

Despite complaints by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro that the restrictions on cash payments sewn into the exemptions were tantamount to colonialism, the Prime Minister in January said the restrictions on the exemptions would not serve as a stumbling block to the deal.

He said during the height of covid19 the Venezuelan government requested that the TT Government purchase necessities on their behalf.

Dr Rowley said the same approach could be taken.


"Young signs NDA with Venezuelan oil company"

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