The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


December 6, 2021 edition–Panamá’s solar; Trinidad & Tobago’s development; and Colombia’s oil and gas auction.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Panamá Solar Integral got the okay for a solar plant; an electric route will connect Panamá and Costa Rica; and Elecnor will enjoy Panamá’s sun.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Cuba can become an exportable hotspot; and Puerto Rico’s governor expects to win LUMA.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Breakthrough wind technology will power up the Caribbean; and Trinidad & Tobago will ease the terms of gas drilling and okayed the Galeota Field Development.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia’s oil and gas auction got 30 bids; Iranian condensate cargo will reach Venezuela soon; and Promigas will increase its LNG import capacity.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Ecopetrol’s investment (Swiss Info – Spanish); Nicaragua’s LNG (Argus Media – English); and Cuba’s barge (Argus Media – English).



Government & NGO


Honduras’ presidential candidate will negotiate with the IMF. Honduran opposition presidential candidate Xiomara Castro will seek to negotiate a new debt deal with the International Monetary Fund but opposes raising taxes or creating new ones (Reuters – English). Castro is nearly 20 points ahead of her nearest rival in a preliminary vote count.


Barbados became a republic. Barbados forged a new republic with its first-ever president, ending the remaining colonial bonds (Reuters – English). Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, stood somberly as Queen Elizabeth’s royal standard was lowered and the new Barbados declared.


The IMF sees Curaçao and Sint Maarten’s struggle… The pandemic compounded prior shocks and pre-existing vulnerabilities in Curaçao and Sint Maarten (IMF – English). Robust vaccination efforts and gradual reopening of the economies set the stage for some nascent output growth in 2021 and a stronger economic recovery in 2022.


…and Venezuela’s and El Salvador’s. The IMF Executive Board was briefed by staff on recent economic developments in Venezuela (IMF – English). The Salvadoran economy is expected to grow in line with the U.S. economy, to which it is closely intertwined (IMF – English).


Cuba can become an exportable hotspot. Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca presented the country’s exportable offers in the context of the second Cuba Business Forum (Prensa Latina – English). The portfolio contains products (more than 300), goods (320), and services (52) from 74 export companies linked to prioritized sectors.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Shell and Ecopetrol will drill in the Caribbean. Both companies are working on studies to determine the investment level needed to drill the first well in the Colombian Caribbean (El Espectador – Spanish). The drilling is expected to start in the beginning of 2022.


Colombia’s oil and gas auction got 30 bids. The Caribbean nation received bids for 30 blocks from seven companies during the oil and gas round (OE Digital – English). The bids have a combined estimated investment value of just over US$148.5m.


TGS plans a 3D shoot offshore Suriname. TGS signed a multiclient agreement with Staatsolie for the acquisition, promotion, and licensing of multiclient seismic programs, including new 3D acquisition and legacy data reprocessing, in the shallow water acreage offshore Suriname (JPT – English).


Trinidad & Tobago will ease the terms of gas drilling… Trinidad & Tobago changed its hydrocarbons fiscal regime to boost natural gas investment to align with the Manatee field (Argus Media – English). The intention is to change production-sharing contract terms to keep Trinidad & Tobago as a competitive gas province.


…and okayed the Galeota Field Development. Trinity Exploration & Production received the approval for the Field Development Plan (“FDP”) for the Galeota Asset Development (“GAD”) Project (Energy Now – English). The FDP is focused on the Phase 1 development of the Galeota license, which has the potential to add additional peak production of c4,000 bopd on the submitted development concept.


Venezuela’s oil production reached 660,000 b/d in November… The Caribbean nation’s oil production increased to 660,000 barrels per day in November, up 40,000 barrels per day from October (Platts – English). Orinoco Belt output rose to 420,000 b/d, up 40,000 b/d from the 380,000 b/d reported in October.


…and Colombia’s oil production went down, while natural gas went up. Oil production in October reached 740,265 barrels per day, a 0.5% drop compared to the previous month (Portafolio – Spanish). Natural gas production was 1,127 million cubic feet per day, a 4.16% increase compared to September.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Colombia’s Santander region will get more fuel. The Mines and Energy Ministry increased the amount of fuel destined for the Norte de Santander region to a million gallons (La Opinión – Spanish). The regional authorities asked for more fuel as every month after the 20th drivers struggle to find fuel.


Venezuelan oil exports went down. Venezuela’s oil exports fell 19.4% compared to October due to quality problems (Petroguía – Spanish). Fuel deliveries to Cuba reached 77,000 barrels per day between crude, jet fuel, and gasoline.


Iranian condensate cargo will reach Venezuela soon. A cargo of Iranian condensate intended for PDVSA will discharge in the coming days at the country’s main oil port (G Captain – English) (Infobae – Spanish). Iran last year began providing PDVSA with condensate that is used to make the South American nation’s extra heavy oil exportable.


Terpel and Ecopetrol signed a jet fuel deal. Fuel distributor Terpel and Ecopetrol signed a contract for the purchase of Jet A1 plain fuel (BN Americas – English). The agreement will be valid for 12 months beginning on December 1, 2021.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Bogotá will add a tax on natural gas vehicles. Bogotá will become the first Colombian city to have a tax on natural gas vehicles. The goal of the city is to collect approximately COP$25.8bn per year (Portafolio – Spanish). The tax will be COP$200 per cubic meter of fuel.


Canacol will get 30% of the Colombian market. The president of Canacol assured that, with the Jobo-Medellín pipeline, the company will have 30% of the total natural gas market in 2025 (La República – Spanish). The cost of the project is US$500m.


Promigas will increase its LNG import capacity. Promigas could boost the regasification capacity at its Cartagena LNG import terminal by 200Mf3/d within four years to meet rising domestic demand for natural gas (BN Americas – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


Elecnor will enjoy Panamá’s sun. The Spanish company will build 40MW of solar farms (Renewables Now – English). The company is working under a US$30.3m contract for AES Panama. Two of the four projects have already been finalized.


Breakthrough wind technology will power up the Caribbean. Kitepower disclosed this week that it has successfully deployed its Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES) in the Caribbean (Jamaica Observer – English). Meanwhile, the Caribbean project was funded by EU funder REACH.


Acciona will develop 168MW in Colombia. Acciona received the environmental permit for the Potreritos Solar park (PV Magazine – Spanish). The park will need 278 hectares with 430,800 photovoltaic panels to generate 168MW.


Panamá Solar Integral got the okay for a solar plant. The company was awarded a temporary license from the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) for a 250MW plant in Agua Dulce (PV Magazine – Spanish). The new solar infrastructure will include 65 inverters of 3.8MWn.


An electric route will connect Panamá and Costa Rica. Electric vehicle drivers will be able to travel from San José to Panama City and vice versa without having to worry about charging their electric car (BN Americas – English). The Electric Route has the support of the Government of Costa Rica, the Government of Panamá, and UN Environment.


Colombia hit the gas on distributed generation. The Energy, Gas, and Fuels Regulation Commission (CREG) published the rules to speed up the operative and commercial aspects in grid connection (PV Magazine – Spanish). The generation projects cannot have a capacity over 1MW.


Puerto Rico’s governor expects to beat PUMA. Governor Pedro Pierluisi said he will do everything necessary to avoid blackouts and expects the court to find in favor of the Power Energy Authority, forcing Puma Energy to transfer fuel to the San Juan Plant (El Nuevo Día – Spanish).



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 Hydrogen Training Series for Latin America & the Caribbean will be held December 14.


The Hydrogen Congress for Brazil is scheduled for February 22-23, 2022.


The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum will be held April 26-28, 2022, at the JW Marriott Marquis, in Miami.



Lateral Thinking


Guyana develops environmental studies for oil and gas activities. The Caribbean nation’s government received bids from several international firms to conduct the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) baseline studies (Jamaica Observer – English). The National Procurement Tender and Administration Board (NPTAB) said four companies have submitted Expressions of Interest for the project.



Quote of the Week


“I keep going back

as if I’m looking for something I have lost

back to the motherland, sisterland, fatherland

back to the beacon, the breast

the smell and taste of the breeze,

and the singing of the rain.”



– Heather Nova (1967), Bermudian singer-songwriter and poet.




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