Dragon Gas access a step in the right direction, says Latin energy director

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Rowley, File photo/Sureash Cholai

ANERO Alvarado, Managing Director of Gas Energy Latin America, said the allowance for access to gas from the Dragon Gas field is a step in the right direction for this country and the region, but there will be some challenges in the early stages of producing that gas.

Alvarado was one of the panellists discussing the role of the Southern Caribbean in meeting global demand for natural gas, on the first day at the Energy Chamber’s three-day Energy Conference, which ended yesterday.

On Tuesday, hours after the Prime Minister announced that TT would have access to the Dragon gas field, Alvarado told Newsday that Venezuela has an excess of gas, most of which is flared (burnt off) on the eastern side of the country, because the gas market in Venezuela is well-supplied.

But he said with any gas deal between TT and Venezuela infrastructure may be a challenge in the first instance.

“There are a couple options to bring gas to TT. We will need to build different pipelines from different locations to bring that gas.”

He said depending on the size and the distance that the pipelines would have to go the cost of connecting TT to the dragon fields could cost millions.

“For example, from Point Lisas to Guiria in Venezuela. It would cost around $250 to $300 million US dollars. If you connect from Dragon field which is smaller, it would be around 30 to 40 million US dollars.”

Alvarado said now that TT has access it would have to deal with the Venezuelan authorities to determine who is the owner of the field and then deal with them.

He said at the moment the field is still in the hands of PDVSA, but with access being granted to the field that could change.

“Maybe a private company can jump on this block and can have access,” he said.

The Dragon Gas deal, signed in a government to government agreement between TT and Venezuela in 2018, stalled because of US sanctions against Venezuela.

The agreement would have seen a steady flow of gas from the Dragon Field to the tune of 150 million standard cubic feet a day, which would be imported through a billion-dollar pipeline to the Hibiscus Gas Platform off the Northwest coast of TT.