Will Venezuelan NatGas End Up in New England?

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This is one of those purely speculative types of posts–based on nothing but our own curiosity and reaction of “Huh, that’s odd,” in learning that Venezuela has signed an agreement with the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to supply the country with natural gas via a 400-mile pipeline (already in existence). The “that’s odd” reaction comes from knowledge that Trinidad and Tobago is, itself, a natural gas producer and exporter. Why would they need to import gas? One of Trinidad’s main customers is, yes, GDF Suez which imports LNG at a facility near Boston–for sale to New England. GDF Suez has been fighting against new pipelines from the Marcellus, based on their own selfish interests, arguing that it’s far better to import LNG than build new pipelines (see Guess Why GDF Suez Doesn’t Want Marcellus Pipeline to New England). But perhaps this development is not surprising. As we’ve pointed out before, Trinidad’s gas supplies are dwindling and export volumes dropping (see Is New England Heading for Huge NatGas Price Spike this Winter?). It appears Trinidad has a new supplier to keep the LNG exports going. Our question: Will Trinidad simply repackage and resell Venezuelan gas to New England? Our further question: Is it a good plan to depend on natural gas supplies from an antagonistic (i.e. enemy) country like Venezuela? Wouldn’t it make more sense to rely on domestically produced gas from a few hundred miles away?…

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