Venezuela gas from Loran-Manatee to be processed at Point Fortin LNG

Venezuela has signed an agreement with neighboring Trinidad and Tobago to send its portion of the natural gas being developed and produced from giant Loran-Manatee field to the twin-island nation for processing as LNG. Loran-Manatee field lies along the two countries’ maritime border.

In a letter to the Trinidad and Tobago government, Venezuela said it had decided that the gas should be sent to Atlantic LNG’s Point Fortin plant to be processed and on Sept. 22 several ministers led by the Venezuela’s new Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino met with Trinidad and Tobago’s new Prime Minister to provide further impetus to the development.

Significant infrastructure is already in place close to the fields, but it lies mostly on Trinidad and Tobago’s side of the border. It is now used to bring more than 2 bfcd to shore. Trinidad and Tobago has assured Venezuela that there is room on its system to accommodate Loran-Manatee production.

Chevron Corp. operates the blocks on both sides of the boundary. The fields are thought to contain 10 tcf of gas.

Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and Chevron Global Inc. are the licensees of the block on the Venezulean side while Chevron Trinidad & Tobago Resources Ltd. and BG Trinidad & Tobago are the licensees on the Trinidad and Tobago side.

Negotiations between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have continued for the last 12 years starting in 2003 with the signing of a memorandum followed by 5 years of technical studies of several reservoirs to determine if they crossed and to what extent they crossed the border.

A framework treaty was then signed and a unit operator selected. The operator is now working on a development plan and after then approvals will have to be sought, the financing determined.

OGJ has been told that the Trinidad and Tobago government is favoring the redirection of the gas rather than the further expansion of Atlantic LNG. This would ensure that the high cost of building a new plant and the length of time it will take for the construction are not factors.

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