Trinidad and Tobago asked the United States to authorize Venezuelan gas imports to restart a liquefaction train in the Caribbean country, sources close to the matter said, Reuters reported on Nov. 4. Under U.S. sanctions, companies and governments need to request authorization from the U.S. Department of Treasury before entering into business with PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.
Trinidad’s previous request to the Treasury was left unanswered. However, the United States has recently been considering easing sanctions on Venezuela, which could provide new opportunities for business, the wire service reported. If the U.S. license is granted, the gas will be imported mainly from Venezuela’s Dragón field. The field, off Venezuela’s eastern coast, has 4.2 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, which would help bolster an obsolete liquefaction train in Trinidad with a capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day. The liquefaction train is part of the country’s flagship Atlantic LNG project. “We need to pay attention to the gas that could be supplied from Venezuela to Colombia and Trinidad & Tobago,” Carlos Bellorin, associate director at S&P Global Commodity Insights, told the Energy Advisor in a Q&A published on Sept. 9. “Removing the obstacles to monetize non-associated gas from eastern Venezuela in Trinidad & Tobago is being discussed with more vigor. We will probably see progress on both issues sooner rather than later,” he added.