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Report on T&T LNG a fallacy, says Stuart

■ Asha Javeed

IT'S a fallacy, says Energy Minister Stuart Young.

And Atlantic LNG says it has already delivered 51 cargoes of liquefied natural gas.

Of that amount, about 41 per cent has been shipped to Europe.

'Despite shortfalls in gas supply, Atlantic is set to exceed the 122 cargoes shipped in 2021, when 21 per cent was delivered to the European market,' the company said in a statement yesterday.

Both Young and Atlantic were responding to a Reuters article published on May 31, written by Marco Aquino and Marianna Parraga, titled 'In Latam, Peru streaks ahead in LNG race to Europe as Trinidad stumbles', which said T&T has 'been unable to reverse an export fall expected to continue for a third consecutive year in 2022 as it struggles to bring more gas output online'.

'Peru is on track to recover exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to pre-pandemic levels, while Trinidad and Tobago is set to mark its fourth consecutive year of decline in 2022,' the Reuters story stated, adding that Peru was getting ahead of T&T in the LNG race.

'Perupetro reported a total of 37 LNG cargoes shipped from the Pisco port from November through May, with almost half of them delivered in Europe. 'So far this year, Peru has shipped 26 cargoes carrying some 1.8 million tonnes of LNG (4.09 million cubic metres), a 74 per cent increase versus the same period in 2021, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Fifteen cargoes went to Spain and the United Kingdom. The remaining ones headed to Asia, which last year was the preferred market for Peruvian LNG, the Eikon data showed,' the report stated.

The article said while the outlook was good for Peru, it was not as bright for Trinidad.

'The outlook is not as bright for Trinidad, the country with the fourth-largest natural gas reserves in Latin America. Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, the nations with the biggest gas deposits in the region, have not built infrastructure to export LNG or are not producing enough. Trinidad's gas output has dwindled in the last decade, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy, amid obstacles to developing its expensive offshore reserves. In consequence, the country's flagship Atlantic LNG project has been unable to fully operate its four liquefaction trains,' it said.

The Atlantic statement said T&T, through Atlantic, is set to continue playing a key role in providing a reliable supply of LNG to the global market.

'Given Atlantic's over 20 years of LNG operating experience and sunk investment costs, the company possesses a strong competitive advantage over newer LNG facilities in the region. With a renewed corporate strategy focused on increasing the facility's availability and reliability, Atlantic continues to ensure that its facility is available to process all gas delivered to it. This ensures Trinidad and Tobago maintains its position as a significant player in the global LNG business,' it said.

Atlantic is jointly owned by affiliates of Shell, BP, The China Investment Corporation and The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

'Not based on a proper fact comparison' Energy Minister Stuart Young has, however, described the Reuters article as a 'fallacy'.

Speaking at the Energy Chamber's annual conference yesterday as their day two keynote speaker, Young said the article was 'attempting mischievously and without the correct information to compare LNG production in Peru out of a one-train facility with what we are doing here in T&T utilising three of our four trains'.

'There is a lot of fallacy and it is not based on a proper fact comparison. Our LNG exports, even with a reduced natural gas input, is more than double what is taking place out of Peru.

'At the right time, the statistics can be provided to show that our production out of Atlantic LNG has actually increased and is projected to increase with more cargoes going out this year-2022than in 2021,' he said.

'The lesson is this is our T&T, and don't always believe what you hear the naysayers say as they attack us here in T&T.

'I can assure you that the Government is working overtime, through me leading the Ministry of Energy, to ensure the sustainability of not only LNG but of our Petchem sector. And we do think outside the box.

'Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will be able to say more on that,' he said.

'GOVT WORKING OVERTIME': Energy Minister Stuart Young, centre, at yesterday's Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference and Trade Show 2022 at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel, in Port of Spain. -Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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