Venezuela, Trinidad sign off on energy-sharing pact
Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela have signed off on the terms of a new pact for the exploration of hydrocarbon reserves in their waters, an agreement that Port-of-Spain trumpets as opening "new doors regarding border relations" between the two oil-rich countries.
"The relation between our countries has been very dynamic and productive. I feel really pleased since, with this historical agreement, we have opened new doors regarding border relations," Trinidad and Tobago's Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said during the signing ceremony on Monday.
"This shows our governments give priority to an important collaboration and cooperation."
The agreement also involves the framework treaty on unitisation of oil and gas reserves that extend across the delimitation line between the two countries.
The parties have agreed that 74 per cent of the unitised field would go to Venezuela and 26 per cent to Trinidad and Tobago, because of the structure of the border.
The cross-border field has been under discussion for almost 20 years and the new treaty will cover the Loran/Manatee natural gas field, which is estimated to hold 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.
"Like the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is working to ensure that our oil and gas wealth is monetised in a manner that promotes national development and a stable future for our people," said Seepersad-Bachan.
"In doing so, we are both mindful of our responsibility to assist our regional partners to the extent possible in our overall effort to promote sustainable, people-centred development."
Venezuela's Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ram'rez, said the parties have been in talks for seven years, since 2003.
"In 2007, we signed the unifying treaty that includes the successive processes and unifying the gas reserves as soon as possible; and today, we signed the first unifying agreement," said Ram'rez.
"This agreement represents for Trinidad and Tobago the continuity of its extraordinary development plans in the area of natural gas, while for Venezuela, it means we can make use of the gas we have on the side of the Deltana Platform so as to keep sending gas to the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho (Cigma) natural gas complex in Guiria and, eventually, for our gas-exporting projects."