Moonilal Calls for Transparency in Dragon Gas

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Young says UNC spreading misinformation

OPPOSITION MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has called on the government to reveal the details of the Dragon field gas deal with Venezuela, claiming that the contents of the agreement are “damning.”

Speaking at a media briefing for the United National Congress (UNC), Dr Moonilal said he had obtained a copy of the agreement between the two countries, which was gazetted in Venezuela on January 29.

Dr Moonilal said the NGC Exploration and Production company has never been mentioned before and questioned why the government had not disclosed details of this new company earlier.

He said the NGC is traditionally known as a middleman for distributing and selling gas, not as a production and exploration company.

Dr Moonilal said, “NGC is a company in this country that exists for the business of distributing, marketing, selling gas. They are the middle man, so to speak. NGC is not a production and exploration company. Where this company come from and why have they been keeping it a secret?”

He said that NGC Exploration and Production was incorporated on November 9, 2023. He raised concerns about the lack of accountability and transparency surrounding the Dragon gas deal, especially regarding the involvement of NGC in exploration and production activities.

Moonilal said that Article 20 of the agreement, which outlines details of a signature fee or bonus valued at US$65 million. He questioned the necessity of keeping such information undisclosed and criticized the government for not providing these details during parliamentary sessions.

In response, Energy Minister Stuart Young accused the UNC of attempting to mislead the population and spreading misinformation about the Dragon gas field development. Young said that on December 21, 2023, the government of Venezuela issued a 30-year license to NGC and Shell for the development and export of natural gas from the Dragon gas field. He defended the involvement of NGC Exploration and Production, stating that it is a legally incorporated entity.

Young said that special purpose companies are commonly used as license holders and operators in the energy sector, and NGC’s role in this regard is not unusual.

Minister of Energy Stuart Young

He also addressed the bonus payment mentioned by Moonilal, stating that it is considerably less than US$65 million and follows a structured payment plan with part payments made over time and tied to specific milestones.

Young said that the exact amount and terms of payment are covered by strict non-disclosure obligations, which are normal in such circumstances to protect future negotiations. Young dismissed Moonilal’s claims as a “dishonest attempt” by the UNC to mislead the population.


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