Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) head Baldath Maharaj has called on the Government to move quickly to ensure a contract is in place to get gas from Venezuela’s Dragon Field, given that there could be complications because of the political instability in Venezuela.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that the United States government had approved T&T’s development of the Dragon Field via an OFAC Waiver from sanctions, with specific terms to be finalised.
Speaking about the deal yesterday, Maharaj said “T&T’s ability to access natural gas from the Dragon Field is a significant boost to our economic circumstances.
“Given that gas is a major contributor to our national income and revenue generation, the US recognised the need for increased production to build global energy security, especially given the energy crisis caused by the war.”
Maharaj replaced Richie Sookhai as CCIC head last week, after Sookhai was appointed to the Senate. Noting that T&T’s production level has been reducing in recent years, contributing to the slowdown in downstream plants in Point Lisas, he said, “The Dragon Field has approximately 4.2 trillion scf of gas and this will allow us to better fulfil the demands of the downstream companies, Atlantic LNG and electricity generation. Indeed, it is possible that this increase in gas could foster the reopening of Train 1.
“Apart from the increased LNG production, it will also enhance increased production and exports of downstream commodities such as methanol and ammonia. Naturally, this will all increase our revenue stream substantially and our long-term economic welfare, but at the same time, the state ought not to get distracted by these potential long-term gains and ensure that they accelerate their agenda to establish renewable sources of power generation locally.”
He noted that the contractual arrangement between the two countries had also not been disclosed.
Couva-Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce president Mukesh Ramsingh meanwhile said the benefits to be derived from the deal should be pumped into the development of T&T’s crumbling infrastructure.
“This is something that T&T has been waiting to hear for a long time, it is good news for our country. When gas does come into production, we would see the functioning of all of Atlantic LNG’s trains and the possible construction of more LNG trains in T&T. With this revenue, the Government should also rethink the rise in electricity rates.”