Trinidad to Award 15 Exploration Blocks by End of April

DOHA Apr 09, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

The Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago will award up to eight offshore and seven onshore oil and gas exploration and production blocks by the end of April, Trinidad's Energy Minister Lenny Saith said Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Doha, Qatar, Saith told reporters the government has evaluated all applications for the blocks and will award all seven onshore blocks, but not all eight offshore blocks, by the end of this month.

He would not comment on which companies will be awarded the blocks nor on whether the blocks will yield oil or gas.

Saith said Trinidad is looking for closer cooperation with Venezuela on gas resources that straddle the dividing line between the two countries' territorial waters, and on development of liquefied natural gas exports from Venezuela.

The minister said he has not decided if he supports Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez's position that gas exporting countries should join together in an OPEC-style cartel.

Trinidad and Venezuela have previously had talks over Venezuelan gas being piped to gas liquefaction facilities in Trinidad for export.

Venezuela doesn't have LNG facilities of its own. It is also in discussion with Algerian state energy company Sonatrach about developing liquefaction facilities in the east of Venezuela.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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