The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


April 26, 2020 edition–ExxonMobil’s three-month fix; Aruba’s LNG terminal; and the St. Croix refinery.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America.

Panama plans to diversify energy, considering natural gas; Enertiva powers up Guatemala’s coffee; and Nicaragua expects 3.5% growth.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Bright Planet Solar will create 250 new jobs in Puerto Rico; Seabord will turn to natural gas in Ozama river; and Jamaica is recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. The St. Croix refinery came back online; Aruba plans to restart its oil refinery as an LNG terminal; and the Ruby Project will pay off in May.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. PDVSA closed the Petropiar oil field for maintenance; ExxonMobil expects to fix the compressor in three months; and Colombia will launch auctions before November.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic’s PPA contracts (PV Magazine – Spanish); the World Bank and IMF’s growth forecast (Dominican Today – English); and Puerto Rico’s power (Caribbean Business – English).



Government & NGO


Jamaica is recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the economy contracting by 8.3% for the last quarter of 2020, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) believes Jamaica’s economy is showing signs of recovering from the COVID-19 crisis (JIS – English).


The IDB will bring transparency to the Latin American green bond market. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will launch the Green Bond Transparency Platform, a digital tool to bring transparency to the Latin America and the Caribbean green bond market (Jamaica Observer – English).


Nicaragua expects 3.5% growth. The Finance Ministry expects the GDP growth to reach 3.5%, ignoring the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s forecasts (La Prensa – Spanish). The government argues the decision was based on growth in exports.


The IMF expects a moderate recovery in Aruba. Aruba’s GDP shrank by 25.5% in 2020, and a moderate recovery is projected for 2021. Aruba’s GDP growth in 2021 is expected to reach 5% thanks to the testing capacity and vaccination prospects of the Caribbean nation (IMF – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


PDVSA closed the Petropiar oil field for maintenance. The state-owned company started a maintenance shutdown of its Petropiar oil field in the Ayacucho block (Platts – English). The Petropiar field is operated by PDVSA and Chevron in a 70-30 joint venture.


Guyana is unhappy with ExxonMobil’s performance… The government of the Caribbean nation is disappointed with the oil company’s inability to fix the Flash Gas Compressor (FGC) (Guyana Feed – English). Opposition demands an urgent meeting with ExxonMobil over its poor performance issues (Kaieteur News Online – English).


…and ExxonMobil expects to fix the compressor in three months. The recurring technical problem at a gas compressor will be fixed in three months (Argus Media – English). The oil giant is restoring crude production at the Stabroek block off Guyana to 110,000 barrels per day.


Colombia’s rig activity will go up. According to Campetrol, Colombia’s oil and gas rig activity will rise 4% in the next three months, with higher oil prices (BN Americas – English). Active rigs will climb to 115 in June from 111 in March.


The Ruby Project will pay off in May. BHP announced that the project in Trinidad and Tobago is progressing on schedule and budget for May 2021 (Energy Now – English). The project is 78% complete and includes five production wells with a capacity to produce 16,000 gross barrels of oil per day.


Canacol celebrates its natural gas future in Colombia. Canacol announced the prospective conventional natural gas resources for its Esperanza VIM‐21, VIM‐5, VIM‐19, VIM-33, VIM-44, and SSJN-7 exploration blocks located in the Lower Magdalena Valley basin, and VMM-45, VMM-47, and VMM-49 exploration blocks located in the Middle Magdalena Valley basin (Globe News Wire – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Oil prices are expected to hit the Dominican Republic’s economy. The increase in international oil prices will hit the Dominican economy, including both producers and the final consumers (Dominican Today – English). The Caribbean nation will seek formulas to make resources more efficient under challenging times.


Belco is saying good-bye to fossil fuels. The head of the Bermudian company argued that the country needs to be less reliant on fossil fuels and increase the adoption of renewable energy to control energy costs (Royal Gazette – English).


The St. Croix refinery came back online. The Limetree Bay refinery in the US Virgin Islands resumed operations, producing fuel after an entire plant shutdown earlier this month (Reuters – English). The refinery is producing vacuum gas oil and ultra-low-sulfur diesel.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Aruba plans to restart its oil refinery as an LNG terminal. In order to fight the COVID-19 crisis and the 67% drop in tourism arrivals, Aruba is considering restarting an oil refinery as a liquified natural gas import terminal (Reuters – English). The deal may be signed in May (Nasdaq – English) (Energía Hoy – Spanish).


Seabord will turn to natural gas in Ozama river. The power generation company Seabord will substitute the Estrella de Mar II plant, located in the Ozama river, for a new natural gas-powered plant with a 146MW capacity (Diario Libre – Spanish).


Colombia’s natural gas demand is going up. Natural gas delivered to final clients reached 866 GBtud, a 0.8% increase compared with the previous week (Valora Analitik – Spanish). The industrial sector and the thermal sector increased their demand by 3.1% and 4.5%, respectively.


Panama plans to diversify energy, considering natural gas. According to local private business council Conep, Panama must diversify its energy matrix. The council seeks to create a commission to evaluate the reactivation of natural gas-powered projects (BN Americas – English) (Forbes – Spanish).



Electric Power & Renewables


Colombia will launch auctions before November. The Mines and Energy Minister will launch a long-term auction for power generation projects (PV Magazine – Spanish). The supply period for contracts will be 15 years and the projects will be in operation by 2022.


Bright Planet Solar will create 250 new jobs in Puerto Rico. In 2021, Bright Planet Solar plans more than 1,000 installations with 100 direct jobs and 150 indirect jobs. For 2022, the goal is to complete 10,000 installations (PV Magazine – Spanish).


Enertiva powers up Guatemala’s coffee. Enertiva will develop a self-supply plant for Export Café with the installation of 334 solar panels and 150.3 kWp capacity (PV Magazine – Spanish). Ecom Agroindustrial operates in more than 40 countries around the world.


Colombia has an advantage in hydroelectric power… Colombia’s hydropower generation reached between a 60% and 79.9% efficiency compared to 126 countries between 2000 and 2016 (Eje 21 – Spanish). Colombia had a better performance in total power generation (renewables and non-renewables) due to natural gas use.


…and may kill incentives for renewables. The tax reform will add a 5% VAT on services and assets to develop solar plants (and a possible 19% tax for wind parks) (Portafolio – Spanish). The tax reform proposal could threaten future power auctions’ prices.



Old School Social Goes Viral


(Editor’s note: For the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, this section will refocus on announcements of event delays or cancellations, events that are moved online, and scheduled webinars and public conference calls. Stay safe!)



XXX La Jolla Energy Virtual Conference will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout May.


The Island Energy Transformation Training Series will be held April 29.



Lateral Thinking


Trinidad & Tobago’s energy industry helps out St Vincent. A fast platform supply vessel was mobilized to carry potable water and urgent medical supplies to help communities affected by the St Vincent volcano (Energy Now – English). The Sentinel vessel pumped potable water ashore.



Quote of the Week


“La sed de los recuerdos tendrá lluvia de olvido.”


“The thirst of memories will have rain of oblivion.”



– Aída Cartagena Portalatín (1918-1994), Dominican poet, fiction writer, and essayist.




We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or help for St Vincent to


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