By Vishani Ragobeer
A new partnership among Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), Guyana and the other gas-producing nations in the southern Caribbean region could help meet the region’s energy needs, the Twin Island’s Energy Minister Stuart Young said on Monday.
Minister Young, speaking at an opening discussion at T&T’s Energy Conference, emphasised that his country is uniquely positioned, both geographically and institutionally, to help countries exploit their natural gas resources.
According to him, proven reserves offshore Guyana and Suriname, coupled with possible finds offshore Barbados and Grenada, can be integrated into existing Trinidad’s gas production.
And Young reminded the gathering that T&T has been involved in natural gas production for years- making it the most experienced player in the Caribbean.
“The regional play that can take place as we link hands with Suriname, Guyana, Barbados, Grenada and bring gas to Trinidad and Tobago into our infrastructure, that is something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” he highlighted.
For more than 100 years, Trinidad and Tobago has been involved in the petroleum sector. In the early 1990s, the country’s economy became more heavily focused on natural gas.
To date, the production of natural gas and associated products is a central part of the country’s economy.
And the Energy Minister asked, “Can you imagine the energy security and the sustainability for the region that we can bring if we all push in the right direction moving together?”
This is not the first time such an alliance has been proposed.
Last year, at Suriname’s Energy Conference, Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced that the Caribbean countries with oil and gas resources were in talks to determine how those resources can be used to meet the energy needs of the region.
Guyana, Suriname and Brazil are already working towards the development of an energy corridor. And Guyana and Suriname, which are part of the prolific Guiana basin, are expected to pool natural gas resources.
These efforts, the President reasoned, are not only meant to harness newfound resources but are also being pursued to counter the high prices and fuel shortages experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine/ Russia crisis.
Again, on Monday, the Guyanese Head of State stood by his position that the developing Caribbean nations should be allowed to exploit their oil and gas resources even as much of the globe clamours for less fossil fuel usage.
“For the energy security of this region, I once again reinforce the call that every country in the region with potential for natural gas should be allowed to explore that potential to the fullest,” President Ali said during his address to the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference.