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U.S. Grants License To Trinidad And Tobago To Develop Venezuelan Gas Field

The U.S. Treasury has granted a license to Trinidad and Tobago, allowing the Caribbean nation to develop a gas field offshore Venezuela and do business related to the gas field with Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA, Reuters reports, quoting officials from the U.S. and Trinidad.

Trinidad and Tobago asked for a license from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the middle of 2022, and the exemption was recently granted by the U.S. Administration.

Trinidad and Tobago expects to gain access to around 350 million cubic feet of gas per day from the offshore field Dragon, Prime Minister Keith Rowley told a news conference, as carried by Reuters.

Despite the license, the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro will not receive any cash payments from the project, and all remaining U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s energy industry will be left unchanged, an anonymous senior U.S. official told Reuters.

The license is aimed at boosting the energy security in the Caribbean basin and is another small step in the easing of the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas industry. 

The Biden Administration has recently eased part of the sanctions imposed on Venezuela – initially slapped by former President Donald Trump – including granting U.S. supermajor Chevron, the only American company still operating in Venezuela, a six-month license that allows Chevron to import some Venezuelan crude oil to the United States for sale to U.S. refiners.

Earlier this month, reports had it that Chevron Corp recently sold 500,000 barrels of heavy Hamaca grade to U.S. refiner Phillips 66 to be used in its Sweeny, Texas refinery, anonymous sources told Bloomberg. It would be the first such sale since the United States sanctioned Venezuela’s crude oil. Venezuela’s heavy crude oil is prized by U.S. refiners, who, until recently, looked to Russia’s heavy crude to replace it. In December, it was reported that several refiners were hitting up Chevron to get their hands on the rare Venezuelan crude oil.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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