The Price T&T must pay for Loran-Manatee gas

On the 6 November 2015 on the Spanish language  web site of PDVSA a report was posted titled “Presidente Maduro crea comision presidential para industrializacion del gas” In which President Maduro states that the model of spending billions of USD to erect LNG trains utilising Venezuela’s gas resources is not an acceptable use of Venezuela’s gas resources. Venezuela’s gas must be the feedstock for the creation of a new phase of the industrialisation of Venezuela and the generation of electricity. President Maduro insisted that Venezuela must learn from the Bolivia model of gas utilisation. The core of the Bolivia model is a former President of Bolivia literally gave away Bolivia’s gas to Brazil and Argentina thereby creating a gas fed industrial complex in Brazil where the natural gas liquids of Bolivian gas was extracted in Brazil and continues to feed Brazilian chemical industries without any return to Bolivia whilst the masses of Bolivia remain trapped in poverty. This is in addition to the use of the dry gas by Brazilian industries. President Evo Morales of Bolivia has engaged in an ongoing engagement with Brazil to change this exploitative gas contract but Brazil insists on the sanctity of the supply contract. The masses of Bolivia have then been robbed of equitable returns on their gas and moreso of a wasting natural resource capable of raising their standard of living. President Maduro in citing the lessons of the Bolivia model has sent a message to those in T&T long desirous of Loran gas being fed into Atlantic. The question is can the structures that govern the gas to LNG process in T&T afford Maduro the political capital he desperately needs in Venezuela? In the Business Express of 18 November 2015 an interview with the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to T&T was printed. The Ambassador stated that Venezuela wants to be T&T’s best friend. That no Venezuelan gas will be sent to T&T for processing before production commences on the Loran-Manatee field and gas from other Venezuelan gas fields can follow but it is a matter of trust between Venezuela and T&T. And Venezuelan gas can be processed at Atlantic via the stake NGC has in Atlantic. But to-date no time frame for production from the Loran-Manatee field is forthcoming. Venezuela knowing the gas supply crisis T&T faces is now making it clear the terms of endearment in order to access Loran-Manatee gas. Can T&T dance cheek to cheek with Venezuela and maintain its  traditional role in the Southern Caribbean with the USA? Clearly Venezuela is now using the gas supply crisis to drive a wedge between hegemon and client state. Is the present government willing to pay the price? Clearly the previous government left the gas crisis intact rather than dance cheek to cheek. Did Venezuela want to dance cheek to cheek with the previous regime?

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