The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


August 9, 2021 edition–Guyana’s crude bids; NGC and DeNovo’s gas; and Venezuelan LPG sanctions lifted.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. The IADB okayed COVID-19 help for Panamá.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. ConocoPhillips is after what Jamaica owes to Venezuela; the Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on its first sustainable community; and Puerto Rico has a new entrepreneurship center.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. NGC and DeNovo will sell the Zandolie Field’s gas; Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority pushed the deadline for the energy future; and Martinique will tap its geothermal power.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana got 15 bids for its crude; Ecopetrol’s Cartagena refinery turns to green hydrogen; and the US lifts LPG sanctions on Venezuela.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic’s natural gas power plant tender (Dominican Today – English); Enel Americas’ merger (Renewables Now – English); and the Dominican Republic’s first natural gas ship (Dominican Today – English).



Government & NGO


The IMF thought about Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Suriname. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said real GDP is estimated to have fallen 20% in Curaçao and 24% in Sint Maarten in 2020 due to their high dependence on tourism. It is expected that pre-pandemic tourism levels won’t be reached until 2024. The IMF said the Surinamese authorities have made important progress in implementing their policy plan (IMF – English).


Puerto Rico has a new entrepreneurship center. Entrepreneurs will be informed about incentives and permits at the Puerto Rico Economic Development and Commerce Department (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) (Caribbean Business – English). The goal is to offer help to entrepreneurs.


The IADB okayed COVID-19 help for Panamá. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a project to help Panamá address the COVID-19 crisis to finance contracts with the COVAX Facility and AstraZeneca, accessing life-saving vaccines (IADB – English). The goal is to increase vaccine availability and support vaccination processes.


The Dominican Republic and the IADB will work on service management. The IADB approved a US$30m project to strengthen civil service management in the Dominican Republic (IADB – English). The program will boost the efficiency of human resources management and of civil servants’ capabilities.


Grenada offered bonds, and a financial institution purchased them. The Caribbean nation’s government initially offered a bond of EC$7.7m collectively to workers, but an unnamed institution purchased the 12-month bond (Now Grenada – English). The money gained will be used to settle the outstanding salary increase due to public sector workers from January to July 2021.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Geopark’s gas production surprised everyone. The company said that gas production increased 5% during the second quarter compared to the previous year (Natural Gas World – English). Total natural gas production during the second quarter averaged 33.1mn ft3/d, while oil production averaged 30,962 barrels/d.


Colombia’s gas production was up in June. Gas production in Colombia was 1,065 million cubic feet per day in June, an increase of 9.8% compared to the previous month (BN Americas – English). The increase in June was explained by the start-up of the Aguas Vivas field in Sahagún, Córdoba.


Colombia worked on its oil governance. According to a new independent report, the Caribbean nation improved oil and gas governance, receiving an overall score of 76 out of 100 and classified in the “good” performance tier (BN Americas – English). The report praised the “important progress” made in licensing and drilling rights.


Guyana got 15 bids for its crude. Guyana received bids from 15 companies aiming to market the government’s share of the crude produced off the country’s coast (OE Digital – English). Guyana is entitled to a portion of the oil produced at the offshore Stabroek block but needs a partner to market that share.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


ConocoPhillips is after what Jamaica owes to Venezuela. According to a Jamaican court, the US company plans to collect US$115m that the Caribbean nation’s government owes Venezuela to enforce a US$2bn arbitral award (Reuters – English). The funds Conoco is targeting in Jamaica are debts that the government has not repaid for loans under the Petrocaribe program.


Ecopetrol’s Cartagena refinery turns to green hydrogen. The state-owned company plans to import a small electrolyzer in the first quarter of 2022 to test the production of green hydrogen at the Cartagena refinery (Argus Media – English). Ecopetrol’s refining system in Colombia currently consumes up to 130 t/yr of grey hydrogen produced from fossil fuels.


The US lifts LPG sanctions on Venezuela. The US government ended sanctions on liquefied petroleum gas exports to Venezuela as a “humanitarian gesture” rather than a shift in trade relations (Global Trade Review – English). Payment in kind with petroleum or petroleum products remains forbidden, as does trade with other entities still sanctioned by OFAC.


Venezuela’s oil exports went up in July. The Caribbean nation’s oil exports increased to 713,097 barrels per day in July, as PDVSA boosted ship-to-ship transfers (Hellenic Shipping News – English). That was Venezuela’s highest level of oil exports since February.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


NGC and DeNovo will sell the Zandolie Field’s gas. DeNovo Energy Limited and the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago signed the Zandolie Field development Gas Sales Contract (Energy Now – English). The Zandolie development is expected to deliver approximately 40 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMSCFD).


Promigas leads Colombia’s energy transition. Promigas leads the natural gas revolution in Colombia and Perú with 21 companies devoted to transportation services, natural gas distribution, LNG, auto gas, power energy, and solutions for the industry (Semana – Spanish). Promigas transports 48% of Colombia’s natural gas.


Cruises turned to LNG as the fuel of the future. The first LNG-fueled cruise ship in the Americas has started off on its maiden voyage through the Caribbean region (Natural Gas World – English). Royal Caribbean cruise line said that its next class of ships will be LNG-powered (Natural Gas World – English).


Colombia’s fiscal watchdog questioned the Pacific LNG project. The fiscal watchdog is uncertain about the need for the Pacific LNG import project, citing inconsistencies and the prospect of higher gas prices for consumers (BN Americas – English). Questions surround the clarity of the established regulatory framework and Dimar’s evaluation of the technical problems at the Buenaventura port.



Electric Power & Renewables


The Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on its first sustainable community. Nature Village is a sustainable community that offers power, running water, houses, job opportunities, and technology access to benefit 50 families that have lived there for the past 40 years and lack the most basic services (PV Magazine – Spanish). The community operates with solar energy.


Colombia is all about hydrogen. The Caribbean nation’s government published the draft national hydrogen road map, with the goal to install 1GW of electrolyzers and achieve 50 kilotons of blue hydrogen production by 2030 (Renewables Now – English). The document is available for public comment until August 15.


Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority pushed the deadline for the energy future. The Regulatory Authority of the Caribbean island extended the deadline for public input into published guidance on Bermuda’s blueprint for future electricity production and costs (Royal Gazette – English).


Martinique will tap its geothermal power. Engie, TLS Geothermics, and Storeingy won a project to develop a geothermal energy project in Martinique (Think Geo Energy – English). For the first time in France, a geothermal project will supply a cooling distribution network and will be used for various purposes.



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!)



The 8th Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean will be held on September 8-10.



Lateral Thinking


Korea and Honduras will power up Guanaja with solar. Korea and Honduras work on promoting the development of rural power through a microgrid that includes a solar plant with a 550kW capacity that will connect with the existing thermal generation (PV Magazine – Spanish).



Quote of the Week


“The literature speaks of the West Indian family as ‘fractured’; you might be able to prove that it is a ‘fractal’ was the comment she made at the bottom of my paper.”



– Erna Brodber (1940), Jamaican writer, sociologist, and social activist.




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