Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) has been given the green light to develop a gas field in Venezuela’s territorial waters, with the United States (US) Treasury Department approving the licence on the grounds of the importance of energy security in the Region.
This is according to a Reuters report, in which a senior official in the President Joe Biden Administration was quoted saying that the licence for developing the Dragon gas field was issued at T&T’s request.
It was also explained that they will be working with Venezuelan State-owned company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), though the report also says that the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro will not receive any cash payments from the project as remaining US sanctions will still be in force.
“This decision is the result of extensive diplomacy between Vice President Kamala Harris and Caribbean leaders, who have made it clear that granting this specific licence would help ensure their energy security and decrease the Region’s reliance on energy resources from other countries, including Russia,” Reuters also quoted the anonymous official as saying.
US sanctions were imposed on Venezuela after Maduro returned to office in disputed 2018 elections where Opposition parties were banned from participating. Those sanctions require companies and Governments to obtain authorisation from the US Treasury Department before doing any business with PDVSA.
While Maduro has been making attempts to regain both domestic and international footing lost during sanctions, the US official in the Reuters report was keen to emphasise that US policy against Venezuela has not changed.