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PM says: Way Now Clear to Sign PetroCaribe Agreement

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - The way is now cleared for Saint Lucia to sign the PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela. This was announced today by Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony.

Prime Minister Anthony today welcomed the news that the Venezuelan state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), has secured an agreement with Hess Oil (Saint Lucia) Ltd., to facilitate the island’s access to the benefits of the PetroCaribe agreement between Venezuela and the majority of CARICOM member-states.

Under the PDVSA-Hess deal, the island’s quota of oil to be received under the PetroCaribe arrangement will be stored at Hess’ Cul de Sac facility.

Saint Lucia consumes an average of 2,740 barrels of gasoline daily. Through the PetroCaribe agreement, PDVSA announced last week, it will provide the island with approximately 1,700 barrels of oil products per day. This represents some 62% of Saint Lucia’s total consumption.

Prime Minister Anthony says the agreement between PDVSA and Hess Oil ¨now clears the way for Saint Lucia to join the other CARICOM member-states that have already signed the PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela.¨

He said: ¨We are pleased that the arrangements are now in place for storage. This is good news. Given the fact that PDVSA and Hess Oil jointly own a refinery in St. Croix, it is wise to ensure that this cooperation is extended to Saint Lucia.”

The agreement with Hess has also been welcomed by PDVSA Director, Älejandro Granado, who recently met with Prime Minister Anthony to inform him of the agreement reached with Hess.

Mr. Granado says the agreement accelerates ¨the move towards the completion of the PetroCaribe Agreement, thus strengthening the process of energy integration.¨

The Prime Minister has also thanked Hess Oil (Saint Lucia) Ltd.

According to Dr Anthony, “The Government of Saint Lucia wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation to Hess Oil (St. Lucia) Ltd for its willingness to assist Saint Lucia by facilitating the storage of oil from Venezuela.”

Under the PetroCaribe agreement, Venezuela offers fuel under preferential payment terms to the majority of CARICOM member-states, as well as to other Caribbean and Latin American countries.
Venezuela is the world’s fifth largest oil exporter and has the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East.

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