Negotiations scheduled for Caribbean gas pipeline

Curtis Williams
OGJ Correspondent

PORT OF SPAIN, Sept. 28 -- A government team from Barbados and representatives of various agencies and companies in Trinidad and Tobago are to begin negotiations in the fourth quarter for the export of natural gas to be to Barbados from the twin-island nation.

The government of Barbados has approved the Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline Project and an assurance. Barbados is to receive its first tranche of gas in January 2014.

Greg Rich, chief executive of Eastern Gas Pipeline Co., expects negotiations to be completed in 18-24 months. The proposed pipeline is to be laid from the Cove Industrial Estate in Tobago to Barbados.

The gas will be sold to the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. for electric power generation. Rich said that will reduce the company’s cost by 15-24% from the diesel fuel it now uses.

Barbados said the project reduce the uncertainty of changing oil prices its population now faces.

National Gas Co. Ltd. will provide the gas from Trinidad and Tobago’s domestic grid but will likely purchase the gas from BHP Billiton’s production in Block 2c.

Rich said the pipeline is to be constructed to transport gas as far north as the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe with spurs to other islands such as St. Lucia and Dominica.

He estimated the project will cost $350 million and could stimulate higher prices for Trinidad and Tobago’s gas than it gets from LNG at Henry Hub, La.

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