Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young at the press conference at the Diplomatic Centre on January 24. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed
By Prior Beharry
THE sudden resignation of Venezuela Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami will not affect the Dragon gas deal between Trinidad and Tobago and that South American country.
This according to Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
He said, “There have been numerous enquiries and even speculative misinformed commentary as to the effects of recent developments at PDVSA.
“None of these developments have affected or are expected to affect our ongoing discussions and negotiations with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela or PDVSA.”
On January 24, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) gave his country a licence to get gas from the Dragon gas field in Venezuela waters between the border of the two countries.
The Dragon field holds about 4.2 trillion cubic feet of reserves and project will see Shell as the operator sending the gas back to T&T where it will be turned into exportable liquefied natural gas (LNG).
El Aissami is a longtime ally of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro and had a US$10 million bounty on his head for drug trafficking by the the US Government.
Six official were arrested from the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) on Monday prompting El Aissami to step down saying he wanted to support and back the investigation.
Maduro in a televised addressed called on Venezuelans to go on the offensive against corrupt and delinquent criminals.
Since January, Young has lead a team negotiating the Dragon gas deal and he has met El Aissami in Venezuela.