Shell pulls US staff from Venezuela-Trinidad project

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has removed all American citizens and US green-card holders from its cross-border projects with the governments of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago in compliance with recently instituted US sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has removed all American citizens and US green-card holders from its cross-border projects with the governments of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago in compliance with recently instituted US sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic.

Derek Hudson, Shell’s vice-president and country chair for Trinidad and Tobago, told OGJ that the Dragon project, which is expected to bring Venezuelan gas to Trinidad and Tobago through Shell’s North Coast Marine Area hub and then use Shell’s pipeline to take it to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, was now being handled by non-Americans and has been removed from the Houston office.

“The sanctions involve people and we are following all the guidelines that have been provided about how we can or cannot operate especially with respect to people living in the US, people with green cards, US citizens,” Hudson said.

Hudson said whenever the US administration or any other government apply new sanctions, Shell’s team verifies it to ensure compliance.

“As soon as the directives were given, the trade and compliance office reviewed them and they sent out guidelines [asking] for everybody’s background, and as soon as that happened, the people were pulled off the project. A lot of it was originally done out of Houston and we have now moved it from there. So now non-US people are the point people for this project so we have people in the UK, Trinidad, and Dubai,” Hudson told OGJ.

Hudson said the sanctions also are impacting the ongoing negotiations for the 10-tcf Loran-Manatee cross-border field amongst Shell, Chevron Corp., Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), and the Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuelan governments.

Hudson could not say whether the sanctions will impact the delivery of gas to Trinidad and Tobago by yearend 2019, and said while the sanctions will have an impact, what is important at this stage is the signing of a term sheet for the price of gas among PDVSA, National Gas Co., and Shell.

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