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Calls For Details On Dragon Gas Deal

…calls for details on Dragon gas deal


OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday called on the Government to provide information on the Dragon gas deal, which it has presented as the central pillar of its energy policy.

‘While we support any initiative to get natural gas to our ailing plants at Point Lisas and to the three LNG trains at Point Fortin, the public ought to know details of what was signed in Caracas last month by the Minister of Energy and how this is different from what was signed by the Prime Minister in August 2018,’ she said during her response in Parliament to Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s 2024 Budget on Monday.

Other questions she hopes the Government would ask in the debate include: when is the natural gas from the Dragon field estimated to arrive in Trinidad and what will this project cost the people of this country through the participation of the National Gas Company?

‘We reiterate that we are not opposed to this project, but there is a need for transparency,’ she said.

Persad-Bissessar criticised the decision to exclude the media from the signing ceremony of the recent deepwater production sharing contracts. Like the Dragon gas deal, the public did not know what was signed with BP and Shell.

‘We wish to remind the minister that the acreage does not belong to him but to the people of this country,’ she said.

Persad-Bissessar also took Government to task on NiQuan, saying the State’s assets had been ‘abused and misused in the sweet-hand deals for NiQuan’.

She said the Opposition had warned the Government against wasting valuable billion-dollar assets on that company, which had no track record or skill to deliver on its mandate.

Ignoring this advice, the Government took the WGTL plant, which had burdened Petrotrin with debt, and sold it to NiQuan at a peppercorn price.

‘Today, we ask the Government where are the millions in tax revenue that the Prime Minister promised NiQuan would deliver? Where are the jobs? Where is the forex?’ the Opposition Leader asked.

In stark contrast to what the Prime Minister promised, Ni-Quan today was owing the State reportedly over $90 million and was owing creditors billions of dollars, Persad-Bissessar said.

Now the Prime Minister was talking about ‘maga dog’ (turn around and bite you) instead of giving answers on when the Government would recover the money owed by NiQuan to the State, she said. 

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