“We have finally narrowed down all of the terms and conditions, and we’re outstanding on one item, and we’re supposed to return to Caracas on Monday the 16th of July, and hopefully then we’ll be able to bring it to closure,” said the Minister of Communication Stuart Young on Thursday.
His comments come just one day after he led a delegation to Venezuela to continue negotiations on the agreement.
Speaking to the media, he said that once the deal is signed “we're looking at an estimate of between 18 months to two years to build the infrastructure and get first gas here. We are pressing as hard as we can. As you know, Venezuela has a number of challenges so despite those challenges the conversations and talks continue to progress and what I can say is that we’ve now narrowed it down to one item and for these types of discussions that’s quite an accomplishment.”
Accompanying him during Wednesday's talks in Caracas included the President of National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited, or NGC, Mark Loquan, former Permanent Secretary Selwyn Lashley and other members of NGC.
The Venezuelan delegation included Minister Manuel Quevedo, People’s Minister of Petroleum and President of PDVSA, Vice Minister Douglas Sosa and executives of PDVSA and the Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum.
Shell executives also attended the meetings.
The agreement will turn Venezuela into a gas exporter, with gas from the Dragon Field, which contains 2.4tcf of reserves, expected in 2020.
Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela are also in discussions to develop gas in the Loran/Manatee fields that straddle the countries' maritime borders.
According to estimates, Loran-Manatee field has about 10.25 trillion cubic feet of gas, 74 percent of which belongs to Venezuela with Trinidad and Tobago holding the other 26 percent.
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