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Venezuelan President to visit T&T for bi-lateral energy meeting

Published:Sunday | February 22, 2015 | 12:30 PM

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb.22, CMC – The future of the Petrocaribe initiative is expected to be high on the agenda during bi-lateral talks between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine and Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar on Tuesday.

According a report in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, Maduro is scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday morning. Venezuela’s Energy Minister Rafel Ramirez reportedly arrived on Friday in preparation for Maduro’s visit.

During that meeting, Maduro and Ramnarine are also expected to hammer out and sign a bilateral energy agreement.

The Venezuelan president is scheduled to depart on Tuesday evening.

It is understood that Maduro’s visit relates to talks surrounding long-gestating arrangements about the Loran-Manatee natural gas field, which straddles the Trinidad and Tobago/Venezuela maritime boundary.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Ramirez was scheduled to visit the twin-island republic for talks on how to exploit natural gas reserves.

The discussions had their genesis under the former People’s National Movement (PNM) government and were continued by the incumbent People’s Partnership administration.

At the recent Caribbean Energy Summit in Washington D.C., the prime minister discussed Loran-Manatee with Maduro, she also proposed a US$1 billion Caribbean Energy Thematic Fund to encourage growth in the region’s energy sector.

In September 2013, Ramnarine and Ramirez signed an agreement that established the functional and governance structure to oversee the development of the Loran-Manatee gas field, which has approximately ten trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This came ten years after an MOU was signed by both countries to develop cross border reserves. 2013.