LatinNews Daily - 26 January 2023

In brief: T&T receives US approval for Venezuela off-shore gas field

* Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley has announced that the US government had approved via a waiver from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Trinidad & Tobago’s development of the Dragon off-shore gas field in Venezuela with Venezuela’s state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa). A deal was signed in August 2018 by T&T’s state-owned natural gas company (NGC), Pdvsa and British multinational, Shell, regarding the gas field which is estimated to possess some 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas. However, this was left in limbo after the US imposed sanctions in 2019 against Venezuela’s oil industry. The announcement regarding OFAC’s waiver, which follows the US’s decision in November 2022 to ease its sanctions to enable oil company Chevron to resume some of its operations in Venezuela, comes as the US embassy in Trinidad revealed that US Vice President Kamala Harris had spoken with Rowley to “continue their dialogue on efforts to strengthen the energy security and climate resilience of the Caribbean”. The US embassy press release highlights that Harris’s “dedication and commitment to the region have elevated US-Caribbean relations to unprecedented levels” and notes that at the US-hosted Summit of the Americas in June 2022, Harris launched the US-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 to “support the region’s long-term energy security and climate resilience priorities”.

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