Young hails historic energy deals for Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Energy Minister Stuart Young and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at Friday’s press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. – ROGER JACOB

ENERGY Minister Stuart Young said the securing of the licence for Venezuela’s Dragon field and the restructuring of Atlantic LNG are two ground-breaking energy agreements which have provided TT with the possibility of a brighter future.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Young highlighted the importance of the Dragon licence and ALNG’s restructuring.

“Historic and unprecedented energy deals for Trinidad and Tobago that provide us with positive outlooks for our future.”

Young said, “The acquisition of the 30-year licence to explore, produce and export natural gas from the Venezuelan Dragon gas field to Trinidad and Tobago which will benefit the people of Venezuela and the people of Trinidad and Tobago for decades to come.”

“The restructuring of ALNG which resulted in better shareholding and better revenue for TT, as well as access for third party gas for the first time opens up new possibilities and opportunities for additional investments in gas exploration and production.”

Young said because of these two historic, monumental and unprecedented deals, “TT’s future is brighter and offers more hope and positive potential.”

He reiterated how humbled and grateful he was “to have led the negotiations of both of these complex, complicated, challenging and technical negotiations on behalf of the people of TT, and pleased to have been able to deliver both successfully.”

Young thanked the staff at his ministry, the National Gas Company (NGC), the staff at TT’s Embassy in Caracas, the Venezuelan government, Shell, BP and all others who worked to ensure the success of both ventures.

Around 9 pm on Thursday, in Caracas, Young signed the final documents that gave the green light for natural gas from Dragon to flow to TT.

Young first broke the news around 11 pm on Thursday via a Facebook post.

“Historic moment as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has granted the licence for the Dragon Gas Field to NGC and Shell to develop and produce gas for export to TT. This is a huge win for the people of Venezuela and TT.”

Young said, “I am humbled and privileged to have played a key role in making this a reality.”

The Prime Minister followed with a Facebook post on Friday.

“We have secured the licence to the Dragon gas field!

“Yes, in the spirit of good neighbourliness, the dragon can dance.”

Hours later, Rowley and Young explained the significance of this development at a press briefing.

At Friday’s briefing, Rowley said, “This is a historic development on a historic day for the people of Venezuela and TT. While it is not a boom, it a brighter future, as of today.”

He reminded the media of efforts made by the PNM since returning to office in September 2015, to repair the damage he said the UNC-led People’s Partnership (PP) coalition government had done to the energy sector.

Rowley said that damage included natural gas curtailments, no new gas contracts being negotiated, and the National Gas Company (NGC) facing $8 billion in claims from energy companies.

Rowley and Young said that apart from Dragon and ALNG’s restructuring, Government is working on several other energy initiatives.