Tuesday 26th July, 2005


Govt looking at LNG downstream

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By Curtis Williams

Government has given the Gas Export Task Force approval to negotiate investments in further LNG expansion, partnership in regasification facilities particularly in the United States as well as investments in shipping and other areas of the LNG value chain.

Energy Minister Eric Williams told a news conference on Friday that the decision was taken at last week’s Cabinet meeting and that the Ken Julien-led Task Force would be required to also liaise with the steering committee looking at cross border reserves.

He said the move is designed to ensure that T&T benefited from greater revenue from its natural gas.

Williams said it was necessary to invest along the value chain because that is where the money is.

He said: “Clearly we need to have that kind of market involvement and intelligence to benefit our people. So when people look at the piece of iron in Point Fortin that is not the big deal. That is not the value. The value is the involvement in the market place and that is where we have to go.”

Williams said some of the funds from the Revenue Stabalisation Fund will be used to invest in downstream industries.

He also added that despite the disagreement over the Petro Caribe matter the Government will continue its efforts to develop the cross-border reserves between T&T and Venezuela.

He said: “As you know our Prime Minister is tasked with continuing a conversation with President Chavez on many different levels and those of us who are involved in supporting him carry on supporting those conversations.”

He added: “So, yes, we have had preliminary conversations at different levels with just do we do with cross border natural gas recognising the aspirations of the people of both countries.”

He admitted that there were difficulties but that there could be a solution.

“In foreign policy and diplomacy there are many complications and variables...we have very good relations and we have very serious conversations.”

The Energy Minister said however he was happy with the cross-border negotiations.

He said: “One of the things we always agree on when I meet with my colleague, Minister Rafael Ramirez is that we do not need to talk about that (cross-border negotiations) because it is going so well. The teams are meeting yes we have some people challenges so time scheduling issues but things are going well.”

Williams said T&T will consider investments in the power sector in the United States.




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