The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


April 22, 2019 edition– BHP’s oil discovery; the bombed Trasandino pipeline; and Dominican solar.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. US residual fuel oil exports to Panama tripled; El Salvador needed more power from beyond its borders; and the IMF visited Costa Rica.


Greater Antilles. INKIA Energy is into the Dominican sun; Haiti and the US fight over power; and Puerto Rico’s energy bill makes all happy but faces challenges.


Lesser Antilles. BHP hit black gold in Trinidad and Tobago; Bermuda is designing a hybrid energy plan; and the IDB has a new strategy for Barbados.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia’s oil production is up; and yet another bomb damaged the Trasandino pipeline.



Political Economy


Diaz-Canel asked Cuba to power up its defenses and economy. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel accused the Trump administration of developing an “asphyxiating financial persecution” that makes it difficult to import goods and primary necessity resources, cutting fuel and energy use in state entities (English). Díaz-Canel asked Cubans to strengthen their defenses and economy.


The IMF visited Costa Rica and The Bahamas. The IMF recognized Costa Rica’s efforts to improve its fiscal deficit and public debt by passing a fiscal reform bill, and expects moderate growth in 2019 and 2020 of around 3% (English). The Bahamas are expected to grow at 2.1% in 2019 (English).


The IDB has a new strategy for Barbados. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved the 2019-2023 Country Strategy with Barbados, with a financial plan of US$300m for sovereign-guaranteed loans (English). The goal is to foster fiscal sustainability, safeguard social outcomes, and promote higher productivity and competitiveness.


ECLAC doubts Latin American and Caribbean growth. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) lowered its growth projections for Latin America and Caribbean economic activity in 2019 from 1.7% to 1.3% (English). The reason for the outlook’s review was the complex international scenario and regional domestic dynamics.


Nicaragua’s remittances help in these hard times. Nicaragua’s remittances grew 7.3% in the first bimester, helping the country with an extra US$6m compared to the previous year (Spanish). The US$246.5m in remittances relieved the Nicaraguan economy, which was particularly affected by the political crisis.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Heritage Petroleum is improving. Heritage Petroleum has been profitable in the five months it has operated. Heritage has 12 rigs running on land assets and it has plans to reach 23 rigs (English).


Frontera’s Colombian oil production is up. The company’s Colombia production averaged 65,560 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2019, a 4% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 (English). The reason is the increase in production at Quifa and stable production at Guatiquia.


BHP hit black gold in Trinidad and Tobago. BHP found hydrocarbons with the first of three deepwater wells offshore Trinidad and Tobago (English). The Transocean ultra-deepwater drillship Deepwater Invictus continues drilling.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Yet another bomb damaged the Trasandino pipeline. A bomb damaged a section of the Trasandino pipeline in Colombia while Ecopetrol was investigating a crude spillage from the Caño Limón pipeline. The Trasandino pipeline was not in operation at the time of the attack (English).


Jamaica saved on oil imports thanks to wind. The Energy Minister said clean energy from the Wigton Windfarm has helped the country avoid the purchase of 800,000 barrels of oil (English). The growth in renewable energy will bring greater investment opportunities for Wigton’s future.


Haiti and the US fight over power. A fight between Haiti and the US energy trading firm Novum Energy Trading Corp is producing long blackouts and fuel shortages in the nation (English). Novum accused the government of being overdue on US$40m in payments for fuel.


US residual fuel oil exports to Panama tripled in a month. The Energy Information Administration said US residual fuel oil exports to Panama amounted to 943,000 barrels in January, three times the amount exported in December 2018 (English). Panama also purchases residual fuel oil from Ecuador and Peru for use as bunker fuel and for the country’s power plants.


Small-scale LNG is an option for the Caribbean. Small-scale containerized LNG could be a solution for Caribbean nations that cannot develop a gas grid. US containerized LNG is arriving in Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Barbados, and the US changed its legislation, allowing small-scale US LNG exporters to export 51.75bn ft3/year to countries with no free trade agreement with the US (English).



Renewables & Electricity


INKIA Energy is into the Dominican sun. INKIA Energy plans to install a 120MW solar park in Bani, in the Pervaria province (English). The project is waiting for its environmental license and will be developed on land which is not fertile, without damaging agriculture.


The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce backed renewable projects. The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce supported alternative energy suppliers in their request to obtain renewable project financing from Bahamian banks. The goal is to make renewables accessible for all customers, and not just for wealthy customers (English).


Puerto Rico’s energy bill makes all happy but faces challenges. The consumer representative on the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (Prepa) board warned of the challenges for its implementation due to the charges for inherited liabilities such as pensions and debt (English). They warned that the 6.2 cents added to the rate cannot be paid only by Prepa subscribers.


El Salvador needed more power from beyond its borders. El Salvador imported 57.8% more power in 2018 compared to the previous year, reaching the highest amount in 20 years (Spanish). The main seller was Guatemala, which totaled US$135.8m, followed by Panama with US$25.6m.


Bermuda designed a hybrid energy plan. The Home Affairs Minister said the energy plan will combine the proposals submitted to the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda. The proposals included wave energy, a regasification power plant, wind and solar energy, biomass technology, and multi-fuel power using liquified natural gas and oil (English).


Guyana will also bet on renewables. A 1MW solar farm will be constructed in Lethem. The plan for the farm is awaiting approval from the international tender and will take a year to be constructed (English).


Jamaica will avoid power outages with a storage facility. The Jamaica Public Service Company plans to commission a US$25m storage facility this year as a backup for power outages. The 24.5MW plant will be located at the Hunt’s Bay power station in Kingston (English).



Old School Social


Events in the world beyond your screen—go see and be seen!


The 62º Congreso Internacional de Agua Saneamiento, Ambiente y Energías Renovables is scheduled for May 29-31 at the Centro de Convenciones Hotel las Américas in Cartagena, Colombia.



Lateral Thinking


Climate change is threatening neotropical cloud forests. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica and the US National Forest El Yunque in Puerto Rico will be affected by climate change due to fewer or thinner clouds at higher elevations and drier conditions (English). In 25 years, climate change could reduce the Western Hemisphere cloud forests by 60% to 80%.



Quote of the Week


“If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.”


– Claude McKay (1950), Jamaican writer and poet.



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