Black Immigrant Daily News
Energy Minister Stuart Young – FILE PHOTO/AYANNA KINSALE
A DELEGATION including Energy Minister Stuart Young flew to Venezuela on Monday, to meet with that country’s Vice President Delcy Rodrigues.
Venezuelan state media Vtv reported that Rodrigues welcomed the delegation as part of a Bolivarian peace diplomacy exercise. During the meeting, both delegations discussed bilateral co-operation between the two countries.
Ambassador to Caracas Edmund Dillon and National Gas Company (NGC) chairman Mark Loquan were also part of the local delegation. Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami also welcomed the TT delegation.
“We welcomed the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister of the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Stuart Richard Young, on his official visit to Venezuela. Cordial work meeting to strengthen our relations of friendship and cooperation,” Rodrigues said in a tweet posted on Monday.
Although the Dragon Gas deal was not specifically mentioned in the Vtv report, it noted that Venezuela and TT have agreements “regarding hydrocarbons and joint projects in strategic areas.” The Venezuelan Government has neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of continuing with the Dragon deal.
The billion-dollar Dragon deal could result in an estimated 150 mscf/day in production between Venezuela and TT. The deal however went cold in 2018 after Venezuela was heavily sanctioned by the US.
Last month, the Dragon awoke after the deal was revived when an exemption of sanctions was granted by the United States. Some of the clauses in the US exemption is that no money be paid to Venezuela, some of the LNG produced must go to the Caribbean region particularly Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and that the license which exempts TT from sanctions would be for two-years, instead of ten years, as requested by the TT Government.
In January, the Prime Minister said the restriction on cash would not be a stumbling block for the progress of the deal, noting that there was a period when the Venezuelan Government requested that TT purchase goods on its behalf. He said a similar arrangement could be worked out.