The announcement of a licence being granted to T&T for the development of the Dragon field will not magically fix T&T’s decimated energy sector as the first gas from this project is years away.
This announcement while offering potential in years to come doesn’t change the vulnerable grim energy reality that this government has driven TT’s oil and gas production to its lowest in 18 years because they have failed to innovate the sector outside of this dragon field.
This announcement offers little comfort when exploration and monetizing of gas within our own borders continue to be a problem. The license for Dragon cannot take away that the Government has suppressed and decimated other avenues for increased gas production through its lack of innovation by failing to implement proper fiscal incentives which would drive production up.
T&T needs average 4.1 bcf of gas per day to meet its proper demand yet we are only producing 2.8 bcf. Dragon was not the key to meeting this demand. The key to this demand was increased innovation and creating an environment that encouraged more exploration.
The UNC has never criticized the Dragon gas deal. We have always raised questions on the timeline of implementation back in 2017 / 2018 because this Government highlighted it as the key to ending the Gas shortage which we knew fully well was not possible. The UNC was vindicated in its questions for the national interest as the project was indeed delayed.
There is also a cause for further concern as even with Washington’s granting of Trinidad’s request, they have not authorized payments to Venezuela which could make it difficult for Trinidad to craft a deal with Caracas. So, we are years away from the first gas.
Make no mistake, this is not the UNC criticizing as is the usual complaints of the Government to hide the facts, this is the UNC highlighting the reality that this Government still doesn’t have an answer for more gas in the short or medium term as the Dragon field and all other major gas projects listed by them are years from first gas.