By Misión Verdad – Sep 5, 2023
Earlier today, Reuters published an exclusive article concerning an alleged agreement between Shell and the National Gas Company (NGC) of Trinidad and Tobago to grant a credit to Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) for an investment of US $1 billion in a natural gas field.
Last January, a Treasury Department license was issued to Trinidad and Tobago to develop Campo Dragon, located in Venezuelan territorial waters off the coast of Sucre state, bordering the island nation.
According to the toxic bureaucracy of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), more than six months were required to pass since the issuance of this license in order to obtain certain results. Meetings of Trinidadian authorities in Washington have been arranged frequently in order to make progress in the conditions of this exemption. A clear example of this occurred in May, when Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Energy, Stuart Young, held a meeting with the White House Special Advisor, Juan Gonzalez.
Progressing TT’s energy initiatives in Washington DC this week. TT has the experience, infrastructure and ability to positively contribute to regional and global energy security. @EnergyAtState @JohnJamesMI @RepGregoryMeeks @amoshochstein @Cartajuanero pic.twitter.com/8lo5hpQ7Wc
— Stuart R Young (@StuartRYoung1) May 19, 2023
As evidence of the US administration’s efforts, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley reported at the time that, after the issuance of the license, progress has been slow in obtaining the necessary allocations, because, although the first obstacle was overcome with the authorization, other definitions are still pending, including those that the United States must allow for the resources to be monetized.
It is evident that such an opening brings with it a clause that restricts Trinidad and Tobago from paying the corresponding amount to PDVSA, and this is neither new nor alarming, because the illegal sanctioning dynamics of the United States is based on the foreign policy of the stick and the carrot: it is a matter of administering licenses in accordance with its immediate interests.
The issue regarding the development of Campo Dragon is a long-standing one, as the sanctions were responsible for paralyzing all initiatives to develop this major project. This was recently confirmed by Rowley: “We had invested considerable time, effort, and energy in negotiating a commercial term sheet in 2018. Development was paused due to sanctions in 2019.”
A week ago, Minister Young traveled to Venezuela to meet with President Nicolás Maduro and Executive Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, whose topics of conversation would surely include the conditions for the development of the gas field in question.
Productiva reunión en el Palacio de Miraflores, junto a Stuart Richard Young, Ministro de Energía e Industrias Energéticas y Ministro de Estado en la Oficina del Primer Ministro de la República de Trinidad y Tobago. Seguimos fortaleciendo las relaciones y alianzas con los pueblos… pic.twitter.com/lR4bwdELST
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) August 29, 2023
Trinidad and Tobago has reported a decline in natural gas production since 2022. The natural gas industry has been the engine of its economic growth and has provided energy security to Caribbean island nations. By 2005, it was estimated that Campo Dragon could produce 150 million cubic feet per day in the first year, with plans to increase to 300 million cubic feet per day.
This reality justifies the Trinidad and Tobago government’s insistence that Biden’s administration finally give in on what is required to develop the Venezuelan gas fields.
Faced with the need for energy resources, companies have been forced to negotiate access to trade with Venezuela, while under sanctions, because the country is a secure and sustainable source of hydrocarbons.
However, this atmosphere of bureaucratic crumbs with the licensing format under the aegis of “relief” may change at any moment because, after all, for the United States, its prerogatives and conditions are above any negotiation or initialed agreement.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
Misión Verdad is a Venezuelan investigative journalism website with a socialist perspective in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution
Misión Verdad#molongui-disabled-linkSeptember 19, 2023
Misión Verdad#molongui-disabled-linkSeptember 16, 2023
Misión Verdad#molongui-disabled-linkSeptember 12, 2023