Agreement Signed Between Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago for Gas Exploration
(19 August 2010)
An agreement was signed between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago this week, allowing the Loran Manatee gas field to be developed by both nations. The two countries have been in talks since 2003 regarding natural gas reserves located across the maritime boundary. The 1990 UNCLOS agreement defined the maritime boundary between the two countries. Article 7 of the 1990 agreement states that if any single petroleum field was found across the boundary line that both countries would negotiate an agreement to most effectively exploit the field and share the cost and benefits.
After a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2003, a treaty for the unification of gas reserves was signed in 2007 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Patrick Manning, former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The signing of this most recent agreement by Trinidad and Tobago’s energy minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Rafael Ramirez from Venezuela, will pave the way for companies to start production within the gas reserves. The Loran Manatee field is believed to have 10tcf of proven natural gas reserves. Under the agreement, approximately 75 percent will be assigned to Venezuela, and 25 percent to Trinidad and Tobago. Chevron is taking the lead in developing the Loran-Manatee field.
Source: ‘Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago Sign Gas Exploration Accord’, Christian Völkel, IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis, 17 August 2010; ‘Trinidad and Venezuela sign border gas field deal’, Marianna Parraga and Daniel Wallis, Reuters, 16 August 2010; Treaty between the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Republic of Venezuela on the delimitation of marine and submarine areas, United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, 18 April 1990.