The US empire’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a part of its Treasury Department, has authorized the oil corporation Shell and the National Gas Company (NGC) of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to purchase Venezuelan natural gas in any currency.
The authorization, announced this Wednesday, October 18, is a modification to the original license granted to the government of the Caribbean country that holds a duration of two years, until October 25, 2025, on the exploitation of the Dragón offshore gas field, located by the Paria Peninsula.
Illegal US sanctions have restricted Venezuela’s capacity to produce and trade oil and derivatives since 2017, affecting the capacities of even third party countries from doing business with Venezuela’s publically-owned oil company PDVSA.
The authorization was announced in a statement published via social media on Wednesday by the Minister for Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago Stuart Young.
“I am pleased to tell the people of Trinidad and Tobago that the United States government has issued, through the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) of the Department of the Treasury, to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, an amendment to the license that we had requested,” the Trinidadian official wrote.
— Stuart R Young (@StuartRYoung1) October 18, 2023
“This modified license, extended until October 25, 2025, will allow the government of Trinidad and Tobago to pay for natural gas exported from the Dragón field in Venezuela in any currency,” Young explained, “including US dollars or in humanitarian aid, and that Shell will operate the [facilities in the] Dragón field to bring the gas to the Hibiscus platform for subsequent transmission to the plants in Trinidad.”
It was also indicated that “the announcement represents a relevant point in the plans to import natural gas from Venezuela,” Young added, “for use in our highly developed gas industry and in our natural gas liquids (NGL) export facilities.”
He further stated that this amendment will help “Trinidad’s (gas) infrastructure regain its installed capacity, and provide the world with a much-needed secure source of LNG and petrochemicals, such as methanol and ammonia.”
Many mainstream media analysts point at this US decision to lift some of the sanctions as being connected to the resumption of negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the far-right opposition organized under the Unitary Platform, which occurred on Tuesday with the signing of two agreements in Barbados.
However, analysts willing to dig deeper have clarified the urgent need of natural gas in the US and in Europe—as a direct consequence of the US and European Union’s erratic energy policies following the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict—as the main reason behind this recent US move.
(Últimas Noticias) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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