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23 May 2024

Daily Newsletter

BP suspends talks with Venezuela on gas field development project

The Manakin-Cocuina field is estimated to hold more than one trillion cubic feet (tcf) of reserves.

Archana Rani May 23 2024

British energy giant BP has put discussions on hold regarding the development of the Manakin-Cocuina gas field on the maritime border between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, reported Reuters, citing a company spokesperson.

This decision follows the expiration of a US licence that allowed operations in Venezuela.

A bp spokesperson said the company is awaiting legal clearance to resume talks with Venezuelan authorities.

The company was quoted by the news agency as saying: “With the expiration of OFAC’s general license #44 in April 2024, BP has paused all discussions on the Manakin-Cocuina development.”

Earlier this year, the news agency reported that bp was in talks with the governments of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago regarding the development of Manakin-Cocuina.

Situated along the maritime border of Venezuela and Trinidad, the field is estimated to hold more than 1tcf of reserves.

BP’s interest in expanding its natural gas operations in Trinidad is driven by a significant decline in production. Over the past five years, gas output has dropped by 45%, from 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) to around 1.2bcf/d.

The company holds a 45% stake in Trinidad's Atlantic LNG processing facility, which has a production capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas.

However, reduced gas production has led to the idling of one of the plant's production trains and a cutback in overall output.

The development of the Manakin-Cocuina field, which were unitised in 2015, had previously been delayed due to US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in 2019.

In March 2024, Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA, said it was exploring the possibility of granting licences for the exploration and development of non-associated gas within its territory at the shared field.

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