NGC: Nothing unusual in Dragon deal

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The National Gas Company (NGC) says there is nothing unusual about its involvement in the Dragon gas deal between TT and Venezuela.

On Sunday, Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said a company called NGC Exploration & Production Ltd (NGCE&PL) was listed by the Venezuelan government in their gazette, along with Shell Venezuela SA, as the companies involved in the 30-year licence to explore and exploit the hydrocarbon resources in the Dragon field.

Moonilal said NGCE&PL was a secret company formed to help the Government with the Dragon gas deal.

Energy Minister Stuart Young denied there were secrets in the deal, although the Government had made no mention of NGCE&PL before.

Young said the use of a company was the “normal and accepted course of business in the energy sector.”

In a release on Monday night, NGC said the same thing.

The company said NGCE&PL was fully owned by NGC and “is the corporate vehicle in which NGC’s investment in the Dragon Field is currently held.

“It is standard, global practice for integrated energy companies such as NGC, with operations across the energy value chain, to manage and hold such investments through a subsidiary company. Such a structure not only protects NGC from any potential liabilities but also ring fences the particular investment.”

The company said this structure has been used over the last ten years for all its investments across the energy value chain.

It encouraged the public to check its website: www.ngc.co.tt for details of all its subsidiaries.

The company said it appreciates the potential long-term impact of the Dragon gas deal on TT’s economic future and understands details of the deal will interest many.

“In this regard, NGC looks forward to shifting focus to the critical next steps in the project, including but not limited to the following activities:

-updating reservoir studies on the gas reserves in the License area;

– performing conceptual engineering and basic engineering to facilitate submission of a Minimum Development Program to the government of Venezuela for approval.”

NGC promised to continue to provide updates as the deal develops.