Venezuela’s government in December granted a 30-year license to Shell SHEL.L and Trinidad’s National Gas Company (NGC) for joint development of a promising offshore gas field near the maritime border between the two countries. First output could begin by the end of next year.

“There is serious European interest in what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago as they attempt to bring to market resources from South America,” Rowley said during an energy conference in Port of Spain.

The Dragon project is expected to mark Venezuela’s first exports of its vast offshore gas reserves with an initial output of 185 million cubic feet per day. Another offshore gas project, Plataforma Deltana, could also supply Venezuelan gas for processing in and exporting from Trinidad.

Venezuela is trying to monetize its gas reserves to complement revenue from crude and fuel exports, which constitutes the country’s largest source of income in hard currency. On its side, Trinidad is trying to gain access to its neighbors’ gas reserves as output from its own fields dwindles.

Essberger Group Marks Milestone with LNG Tanker Christening Essberger Group Marks Milestone with LNG Tanker Christening

Trinidad is interested in using its spare LNG capacity to process gas from Guyana and Suriname, which are aim to expand their oil and gas output in the coming years, Rowley added.