THE US$100 million figure being touted by the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) to build a pipeline from the Dragon Gas field to Shell’s Hibiscus platform was first stated by Minister of Energy Stuart Young.
This was the claim made by Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo at an Opposition press conference on Sunday.
On Friday, at a press conference at Whitehall Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said, “… what I do know, and anybody who knows anything about this issue… would know that a pipeline from Dragon to Hibiscus cannot be seen in the context of a $100 million.
“These are usually extremely expensive pieces of infrastructure, and that is why they require the kinds of foundation that we have laid, because we know that significant investment would be required to bring it to reality.
“So that figure thrown out there is a figure of mischief…”
On Sunday, Tancoo cited an Express article dated March 15, 2017 with the headline: “Shell to build 17 km pipeline from dragon to Hibiscus”. He said the article was a report from a press conference held in Caracas where Young was present.
He quoted the article: “Venezuela’s State-owned oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdV) President Eulogio del Pino said at the press conference: ‘We’ve signed an agreement to supply gas to Trinidad through the National Gas Company of T&T (NGC) and Shell, and also to build a gas pipeline between Venezuela and Trinidad.’
“(NGC Chairman) Gerry Brooks signed on behalf of NGC while del Pino signed on behalf of PdV and Port of Spain-based Luis Prado, on behalf of Shell.
“Young signed on behalf of the Government of T&T… The agreements were not shared with the media. However, Young was quoted in one of the Venezuelan Government’s statements as saying the development of the project could entail an investment of more than US$100 million.
The agreements cover ‘the construction, operation and maintenance of a gas pipeline from Dragon field, located in the north-east of the Paria Peninsula, Sucre State, to Trinidad’s Hibiscus platform,’ a Venezuelan Government statement said.”
Tancoo said, “We got it from the horse’s mouth – the minister of energy.
He added, “And this information has been in the public domain uncontested by Rowley, Young or anyone else for the last seven years. And the prime minister knows this. On Friday he boasted that he was involved in this deal since conception. So who is making mischief now Dr Rowley.”
Tancoo said, “The prime minister wants to play big and bad like a bully, but we are not afraid of him and his lies no matter how loudly he shouts, and no matter how loudly he shouts, we will shout the truth louder than he shout his lies.”