The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


August 5, 2019 edition– Costa Rica’s geothermal; Bermuda’s wind; and Qatar Petroleum in Guyana.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica goes even greener; Central America will develop 14 new projects; and LaGeo will boost its geothermal generation in El Salvador.


Greater Antilles. The EU will offer green bonds in the Dominican Republic; Haiti is looking for a fourth PM; and ECLAC predicts 5.5% growth for the Dominican Republic.


Lesser Antilles. The Cayman Islands updated the oil sector; NuStar’s sale in St Eustatius is done; and Bermuda will wind up with an offshore farm.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Qatar Petroleum bought a piece of Guyana’s stake; Tullow expects to drill a Suriname wildcat in 2020; and the US gave Chevron and others the okay in Venezuela.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the new LNG terminal (English); Jamaica’s goal for renewables (English); and Curacao and Venezuela’s discussion about the Isla refinery (English).



Political Economy


Guatemala accepts Trump’s terms. The US and Guatemala signed an asylum agreement (Spanish) after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on the Central American country. Guatemala will be considered a third safe country, where immigrants will be able to make their asylum request.


The IMF still thinks Nicaragua’s GDP will shrink. The International Monetary Fund maintained its forecast of a 5% fall in the GDP of Nicaragua because the country is not following an economic program (Spanish). ECLAC agreed with the IMF on the issue (Spanish).


Haiti is looking for a fourth PM. Haitian president Jovenel Moïse is looking for a new prime minister, the fourth in his two years in office. Moïse nominated Fritz William to replace Jean Michel Lapin who, since his nomination, has not been able to present his general policy (English).


ECLAC predicts 5.5% growth for the Dominican Republic. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reduced its growth forecast for the Dominican Republic by 0.5%, leaving it at 5.5% (English). The reason is the unfavorable international scenario for the region.


The Cayman Islands is updating its financial sector. The Cayman Islands is investing millions to meet the international regulation standards for the offshore sector. The measures include the creation of over 100 new jobs in the public sector to meet the latest recommendations from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Qatar Petroleum bought a piece of Guyana’s cake. Qatar Petroleum and Total have agreed to a deal to acquire a stake in two oil and gas blocks offshore Guyana (English). The Guyana government is considering the agreement reached between both companies and pondering the full implications (English).


Tullow expects to drill a Suriname wildcat in 2020. The UK-based company plans to drill the Goliathberg-Voltzberg North prospect in 2020, being interested in three blocks: 54, 62, and 47 (English). The prospect lies 260 kilometers off the coast of Suriname in 1,900 meters of water.


PDVSA will stop upgraded synthetic Orinoco crude production. The state-owned oil company announced the indefinite halt in production of upgraded Orinoco Belt synthetic crudes in August (English). PDVSA plans to convert its upgraders to blending facilities to produce Merey 16 crude due to the lack of imported light crude and heavy naphtha.



Oil & Gas Downstream


The US gave Chevron and others the okay in Venezuela. The Trump administration’s decision to grant Chevron, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International a 90-day waiver to keep working in the Venezuelan oil sector can be considered a sign of a nearing solution in Venezuela, according to Guaidó’s US ambassador (English).


A bomb stopped Transandino pipeline’s pumping. Ecopetrol said pumping on the Transandino pipeline was halted after a bomb dented the pipeline in the Nariño province (English). More than 400 illegal taps have been found on the pipeline in 2019.


NuStar’s sale in St Eustatius is done. The pipeline company finished the sale of its oil storage terminal for US$250m to Prostar Capital in St Eustatius (English). Prostar Capital said the terminal is “a complementary acquisition” for Prostar’s existing storage terminal platform.


Venezuela lost its appeal to protect Citgo’s assets. A US appeals court decided against the Venezuelan appeal, allowing Crystallex to go after PDVSA’s shares in Citgo to collect on its $1.2 billion judgment related to the Venezuelan nationalization of its gold mine (English). The decision could lead to PDVSA’s loss of control over Citgo.



Renewables & Electricity


Costa Rica goes even greener. The Costa Rican Institute of Power cut the ribbon on the geothermal plant Las Pailas II located in the Guanacaste province, and the final cost was CRC366m (Spanish). The IFC loaned US$35m to Davivienda Costa Rica to boost green projects (Spanish).


Bermuda will wind up with an offshore farm. Bermuda has included a 60MW offshore wind farm (English) in its first Integrated Resource Plan. The group that proposed the project praised the Regulatory Authority for backing wind power (English).


Central America will develop 14 new projects. In the first quarter of 2019, Central America presented 14 studies of environmental impact to develop power transmission and generating plants (Spanish). Panamá is host to most of the US$397m planned investment in power projects.


The EU and Germany plan green investments. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will make two green loans of EUR5m available to banks in the Dominican Republic to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy (English). MPC Capital, a German investor, has become the owner of a 6.5MW distributed solar pipeline in El Salvador (English).


LaGeo will boost its geothermal generation in El Salvador. The president of LaGeo wants to increase its geothermal power generation in El Salvador. LaGeo contributed more than 23% of the national energy matrix by the end of 2018 (English).



Old School Social


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


The Dominican Republic Grid Investment Forum will be held September 5 at the Intercontinental Santo Domingo, in Santo Domingo.



Lateral Thinking


The CDB won an award for boosting geothermal energy. The Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEOLAC) awarded its top prize for Best Financing Program at its GEOLAC Industry awards to CDB’s Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean (SEF) program (English).



Quote of the Week


“The dialogue, the worlds, even if a story has nothing to do with Cayman specifically it will have some vibe of my perspective. Like every writer, I often work in quotes or characters inspired by people that I know or have grown up with on the island”


– Frank E. Flowers (1979) Caymanian independent filmmaker, film director, and screenwriter.




We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or geothermal prizes to


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