Venezuela oil deal with Trinidad & Tobago

Aug. 19, 2010 at 5:51 PM

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Venezuela signed a deal with Trinidad and Tobago to develop natural gas fields along their shared border.

Venezuela will hold a 73 percent stake in the cross-border Loran-Manatee field, estimated to hold 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Trinidad and Tobago Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bacha said the field had been under discussion for almost 20 years.

The deal is seen as part of a long-term strategy for Trinidad and Tobago to shore up reserves and stimulate new upstream activity.

The two countries are also expected to negotiate similar agreements for the Dorado-Kapot and Cocuina Manakin fields, located on the shared maritime border.

"This is a start, and we are going to be looking towards other areas where accords can be made," Seepersad-Bacha said after signing the agreement Wednesday with Venezuelan Petroleum and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez, Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday reports.

Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Patrick Manning signed a framework agreement for oil and gas resources between the countries with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in March 2007.

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