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Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL) owns the other 51 percent. An Equinor spokesman said it finished exploration drilling 10 years ago, but declined to comment on Total’s plans. Gas investment could help Venezuela, which has the world’s largest crude reserves, compensate for lack of capital for its oil industry, whose production continues plummeting amid a political and economic crisis tivoli cufflinks uk sale. Venezuela’s mostly undeveloped gas reserves were 225 trillion cubic feet (TCF) at the end of 2017, compared with Trinidad’s 9.2 TCF, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy..

BP and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) own stakes in all four of Trinidad’s LNG plants, known as trains. Shell, the world’s largest liquefied gas trader after buying BG Group for $52 billion, is pushing Venezuela to let it produce gas in the offshore Dragon field, close to its Hibiscus platform off Trinidad. “There’s a real shortage of gas supply in the downstream industries in Trinidad,” said Tanvir Malik, a research analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit tivoli cufflinks uk sale. Total’s attempt to sell comes as some Western oil firms seek to shrink their Venezuelan operations as reputational risk grows amid U.S. sanctions and corruption probes linked to government officials and state-run oil company PDVSA..

Shell requested approval this year to sell its only crude asset in Venezuela to French firm Maurel & Prom tivoli cufflinks uk sale. Total recently downgraded its Venezuelan projects to the lowest investment category, implying it could continue looking for buyers, two company sources said. BP declined to comment. Venezuela’s oil ministry and Total did not respond to requests for comment. Venezuelan law requires PDVSA to take a majority stake in crude oil joint ventures, but is more flexible with gas, allowing foreign firms to individually operate projects through exploration and production licenses..

But ownership changes in gas projects are still subject to regulatory approval, and the government is required to provide an explanation for rejections, said Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, a partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm in Caracas. Under late socialist President Hugo Chavez, PDVSA tried to take control of prominent gas projects, including the Deltana and Mariscal Sucre offshore plays, both close to Trinidad with total estimated reserves of about 22 TCF tivoli cufflinks uk sale. Neither project has yet started commercial production due to long delays stemming from lack of funds and disputes over control between PDVSA and the private companies..

“It is really difficult for a foreign investor to feel comfortable with Venezuelan laws applied in practice,” Hernández-Bretón said. “We don’t have the financial resources or technical expertise for developing natural gas projects, whereas Trinidad has the expertise and the backing of foreign investors.” tivoli cufflinks uk sale. While once an afterthought to crude oil, Big Oil is focusing increasingly on natural gas as global demand for less carbon-intensive fuels rises and LNG facilitates international gas trading..