T&T government defends gas deal with Venezuela

first_imgThe Trinidad and Tobago government has brushed aside criticisms relating to the new gas agreement it signed with Venezuela over the weekend even as the opposition United National Congress (UNC) called for the terms regarding the price of gas under the accord to be made public.Opposition concerned “We in the Opposition were always concerned with this agreement given the economic hardship being experienced by the Venezuelan government as well as this government’s track-record of incompetence,” said UNC chairman, David Lee.Lee said the party’s concerns have been raised by the failure by Caracas to meet the payments for goods sent to the South American country in recent months.“It is therefore unacceptable and irresponsible that over one year since these questions were first posed and over two years since goods were first shipped to Venezuela manufacturers have not been adequately compensated,” he said.Months of negotiation But Energy Minister, Franklin Khan, told reporters the gas agreement was reached after “months of negotiation, serious intervention, serious sharing of information and serious sharing of economic models, to come up with an appropriate gas price.It is no cheap gas. It is competitively priced gas and is obviously no secret Dragon deal,” Khan said, adding that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, larger than Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States and has the fifth largest gas reserves in the world, which this country can benefit from.“It’s a win-win situation, especially since we in Trinidad face challenges on the supply side,” he said, noting that Trinidad and Tobago has world-class gas infrastructure through which Venezuela can monetize its gas.Last Saturday, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed the agreement allowing for the importation of natural gas from Caracas.The terms of the agreement is between the National Gas Company (NGC), the Venezuelan NGC, Shell and the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (Petroleum of Venezuela).last_img read more