Shell boss happy with Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela talks

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

LIVELY TALKS: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left, his wife Sharon and vice president and country chair of Shell TT, Eugene Okpere, in a light, lively and jovial chat on Tuesday night at the Invaders Steel Orchestra’s sponsors night at the Queen’s Park Savannah. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE –

Vice president and country chair of Shell TT Eugene Okpere said he was happy that conversations were being held between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

But he did not comment on the status of the Dragon gas deal which is expected to be finalised owing to US approval of licence to explore the field off Venezuela which stalled in 2018 due to US-imposed sanctions.

Okpere made the statement as a TT delegation, including Energy Minister Stuart Young, TT ambassador to Venezuela Edmund Dillon and NGC president Mark Loquan visited met with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodrigues in Caracas earlier this week.

“It’s still early of course, but we would like to support where we can,” Okpere said.

He was speaking at the Invaders Steel Orchestra’s sponsor’s night at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Tuesday, a day after reports of the delegation’s visit to Venezuela.

The delegation was welcomed by Rodrigues and Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami on Monday.

While the Venezuelan government had not specified that talks included conversations on the Dragon Gas deal, which could see TT and Venezuela producing an estimated 150 mscf/day in a joint venture, it did point out in its state media that TT and Venezuela have energy agreements regarding hydrocarbons and joint projects.

“Cordial work meeting to strengthen our relations of friendship and cooperation,” was how the Venezuelan Vice President described the meeting in a tweet.

Venezuelan state media Vtv reported that Rodrigues welcomed the delegation as part of a Bolivarian peace diplomacy exercise. During the meeting, bilateral co-operation was discussed.

In January, Government announced that a licence to operate in the Dragon gas field which sits on the TT/Venezuelan border was given by the US, paving the way to revive the deal.

However, one of the conditions placed by the US to operate was that Venezuela could not be paid any cash, but rather be paid in goods.

This is similar to licences issued in Europe for entities pursuing oil and gas deals in Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro knocked US conditions on its relations with companies describing the trade of oil and gas commodities for food and other items as “colonialism.”

Asked about the visit to Venezuela, Loquan in a whatsapp text deferred all questions to Government. Newsday Young for comment via whatsapp but he has not yet responded.