HomePaís PetróleoThe first gas molecule from Campo Dragon will emerge in 2027

The first gas molecule from Campo Dragon will emerge in 2027

The first molecule of gas from the Dragon Field operated by the alliance between PDVSA, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and Shell Venezuela, will come to the surface in 2027, and will be destined for the liquefaction and petrochemical plants located in Trinidad and Tobago, from where it will leave for European countries.

Trinidad and Tobago is urged to reactivate the Atlantic LNG liquefaction plants and thus regain its place of having been, after the United States, the second gas exporting country in the Americas. With this purpose, he launched an entire geopolitical strategy aimed at getting the Asset Control Office of the US Treasury Department to issue a license that would allow him to act, together with Shell, in Venezuela. With actions, the Caribbean country becomes a competitor of Venezuela, especially in the petrochemical sector.
Atlantic LNG is a company made up of NGC, Shell and BP. LNG production at Atlantic represented 15% of Shell's global production and 18% of BP's global production in 2022.

According to a note written by Nicolás Deza, in the Econojournal medium, Trinidad and Tobago assigns Dragon a central importance to revive its LNG exports as quickly as possible. The collapse of national gas production left this country with nearly two-thirds of its liquefaction capacity out of service.

“Trinidad's liquefied gas exports recorded by S&P Global Commodity Insights between January and September 2023 amounted to 6,5 million tonnes.

It represents just over a third of the total liquefaction capacity existing at Atlantic LNG facilities. The company has four liquefaction trains with a total capacity of 15,8 million tons per year.”

Getting the non-associated gas from the Dragon Field to the Atlantic LNG liquefaction trains requires the construction between both countries of a 17-kilometer-long gas pipeline, through which a respectable portion of the 4,2 trillion cubic feet will transit. of non-associated or free gas existing in the subsoil of the Gulf of Paria, in the state of Sucre.

According to the study by lawyer and energy consultant Simón Herrera, entitled Development of the natural gas project in the Dragon Field between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, the Dragon field is part of the Mariscal Sucre offshore gas project in the Gulf of Paria, along with the Mejillones, Patao and Río Caribe fields. In the four mentioned fields, the Venezuelan nation has natural gas reserves equivalent to 14,3 trillion cubic feet, not to mention condensates.

“PDVSA, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and Shell Venezuela signed a term sheet in 2018, after about two years of negotiations. This agreement provided for production in the Dragon Field, the construction of a gas pipeline to the Hibiscus offshore platform operated by Shell, and the use of the important gas processing infrastructure located in Point Fortin in the neighboring country,” says Herrera.

A note from the Bloomberg agency specifies that the agreement to develop the marine gas project in the Dragon Field was published in the Extraordinary Official Gazette number 6.793, on January 29, 2024. It establishes that the company NGC of Trinidad and Shell will pay Venezuela no less than 45% of the gross income of the project.

It also adds that they will cancel a 20% royalty for dry gas from Venezuela's Dragon Field and 30% for heavy hydrocarbons associated with the gas, if found. All associated liquid will pass into the hands of PDVSA.

However, the Mision Verdad media outlet points out that “due to the sensitive circumstances that generate the sanctions, the details of the license and agreements have not been publicly specified, because these are matters of national security for both countries. But Dragon is estimated to be able to produce 150 million cubic feet per day in the first year, with plans to increase to 300 million cubic feet later.”

In the Dragon Field, Shell would be the operator of the project and the future 17-kilometer gas pipeline that will allow gas to be imported from Venezuela. Shell could also make a final investment decision on Manatee, an offshore gas field off the east coast of Trinidad. Manatee is part of the Loran-Manatee discovery shared with Venezuela.

Proven reserves amount to 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf), about 7,3 tcf in Loran (on the Venezuelan side) and 2,7 tcf in Manatee.

Likewise, up to 70% of the gas produced in the Dragon Field will be sent to the NGC plants in the Atlantic and 30% to the petrochemical plants in Trinidad. The license granted by the Government of Venezuela will have a duration of 30 years, starting from its publication in the Official Gazette of Venezuela, and will have the possibility of being extended for the period agreed upon by the parties.

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