Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine says the voting rights for the Loran/Manatee field are shared between the Government (16.9 per cent), BGTT (4.98 per cent) and Chevron T&T (4.98 per cent).
The voting rights are also computed in accordance with title to natural gas under the Block 6 Production Sharing Contract.
Ramnarine was responding yesterday to Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald’s view that Trinidad and Tobago should have been able to exercise voting rights equal to at least the percentage of gas that belongs to T&T. He also felt the arguments had the potential to damage relations with Venezuela, its standing in the international community and damage T&T’s future.
In a September 19 newspaper report, McDonald said, “If we have 26 per cent, we’re supposed to have 26 per cent voting rights.”
Ramnarine made these comments during his contribution to the budget debate in the Senate at Parliament Chamber, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, yesterday. He also sought to clear up misconceptions on an agreement which was signed between T&T and Venezuela on September 11.
Ramnarine said: “It was then said the two-thirds majority needed for decisions by the Directing Committee that we could be outvoted as T&T has 16.9 per cent. There is a right of veto that says both governments must agree on the decisions of the Directing Committee. If there is a decision that we are not in agreement with we can veto that decision and in like manner the Venezuelans can exercise a similar veto.”
Ramnarine also said the sovereign interest of T&T was protected at every stage of the agreement.
He said: “We have advanced (that) our gas (26. 94 per cent) should come to T&T. The position of Venezuela has been they would like to build a pipeline to Guira where their 73. 06 per cent will be monetised. We have also advanced a position the Venezuelans may want to consider some of their gas coming to T&T given the proximity of T&T to the Loran-Manatee field and the well developed gas transmission and processing infrastructure.”
He added: “There is to date no agreement on this matter. This will be the subject of a development plan. Positions have been advanced by both countries. There are also four companies involved and the key player is Chevron which has a presence on both sides of the border.”
Ramnarine said it was mandatory to clear up the agreement between Venezuela and T&T since the agreement was subject to “gross misunderstanding, misinformation and misconception.”