The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


December 10, 2018 edition–A floating power plant; Petrojam’s investigation; and guess what ExxonMobil found.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. China and Panama signed trade agreements.


Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic is powerless facing fuel shortages, but will have a floating power plant; and Punta Catalina will be running by February.


Lesser Antilles. USVI refinery will count on US$1.25bn; and Petrojam is under investigation.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. ExxonMobil made yet another discovery; GeoPark will buy LGI’s assets in Colombia; and CGX Energy and Frontera joined forces in Guyana.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Bermuda’s renewable energy projects (English); the Dominican Republic’s natural gas supply (English); and China’s presence in the Caribbean (English).



Political Economy


The IMF congratulated Jamaica on its financial sector stability. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the latest Financial System Stability Assessment of Jamaica has significantly expanded since 2006 (English). The authorities have strengthened macroeconomic policies, and fiscal discipline has reduced public debt since 2013.


China and Panama signed trade agreements. Panama and China signed 19 cooperation agreements on trade, infrastructure, banking, tourism, and other areas (English). During President Xi-Jinping’s visit, a US$72m “Panda” bond is expected to be discussed (English).


The ECCB is studying the sale of Scotiabank’s operations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) encouraged residents to be calm after an agreement was reached between Republic Financial Holdings Limited and the Bank of Nova Scotia to acquire the operations of the latter in nine Caribbean territories (English).


Venezuela strengthened ties in Turkey and Russia. The Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized sanctions on Venezuela during his visit in Caracas (English). President Vladimir Putin offered Nicolás Maduro his support and is working on political and economic assistance to the country (English).


The Cuban economy must improve efficiency. The Cuban president will present “conceptual ideas to defend the 2019 economic plan” (English) to the National Assembly. The president visited the Council of Ministers and evaluated the progress of socio-economic programs in the Guantánamo province.



Oil & Gas Upstream


ExxonMobil made yet another discovery. ExxonMobil increased its estimate of recoverable resources for the Stabroek block to 5 billion boe, up from 4 billion boe, after evaluating previous discoveries and drilling the Pluma-1 well (English). The Pluma-1 well encountered approximately 121 feet of high-quality, hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone (English).


GeoPark will buy LGI’s assets in Colombia. GeoPark will acquire LG International Corporation’s interest in its Colombian operations and subsidiaries (English). The acquisition includes multiple hydrocarbon blocks and reserves, including the Llanos 34 block in Colombia.


CGX Energy and Frontera joined forces in Guyana. CGX Energy and Frontera Energy Corporation entered a letter of agreement to finance the drilling costs of two shallow water offshore blocks in Guyana (English). CGX is restructuring its liabilities and providing capital to advance offshore exploration projects in Guyana.


Colombia plans to double oil production. Tomás González, the Colombian former mines and energy minister, discussed the country’s past and future plans for its oil growth (English) with S&P Global Platts China Oil Analytics. With shrinking reserves and continuous attacks on its pipelines, Colombia plans to double its oil output but the way remains unclear.



Oil & Gas Downstream


China is after the Latin American oil market. China is suffering an overflow of oil product stocks and has increased exports to Latin America to 756,000 mt from zero over the January-October period (English), the second largest region for China’s gasoline cargoes after Southeast Asia.


The USVI refinery will count on US$1.25bn. Limetree Bay Ventures secured US$1.25bn in financing to restart the St. Croix refinery (English). The company will undertake the project with the tolling, supply, and offtake agreements that it executed with BP Products North America.


Petrojam may be in deep trouble and Petrotrin paid off its ex-employees. The Office of the Auditor General conducted an investigation of Petrojam and published a report cataloguing a series of unapproved sponsorships and human resource breaches that cost millions of Jamaican dollars (English). Petrotrin made a TT$2.7bn exit payment to its employees (English).


The Dominican Republic is powerless facing fuel shortages and maintenance. The Haina Turbo Gas is awaiting fuel, while a third of the San Pedro Power Company is scheduled for maintenance. The grid’s deficit was around 340MW (English).



Renewables & Electricity


SEIA and Solar & Energy Storage partnered up. A trade association representing the US solar industry said that the Solar & Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico is now an official SEIA affiliate. The SEIA promotes the installation of solar energy (English).


The Dominican Republic will have a floating power plant. Transcontinental Capital, a subsidiary of Seaboard Corporation, awarded a contract for a floating power plant to Siemens and the ST Engineering marine unit (English). The plant will generate 145MW and will start operations in Santo Domingo in 2021.


Punta Catalina will be up and running by February. The CEO of the state electric utility CDEEE announced that the Punta Catalina power plant will be in operation by February. The plant will have 200MW online (English).


The Czech Republic has the Puerto Rican energy market in sight. Puerto Rican businesspeople could travel to the Czech Republic to promote the possibilities of business on the island thanks to new energy policies (English). The Czech ambassador wants to know the comparative advantage of Puerto Rico for potential Czech business.


Jamaica and the US will cooperate on energy. Prime Minister Andrew Holness and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin signed an Energy Framework to boost cooperation on energy and infrastructure investment in Jamaica (English). The goals include diversifying Jamaica’s sources of energy and integrating cleaner energy sources.



Old School Social


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


The S&P Global Platts 19th Annual Caribbean Energy Conference is scheduled for January 24-25 at the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Every year, attendees gather from all over the Caribbean, the Americas, and Europe to discuss the events and trends in Caribbean energy. Meet with private and public energy companies working in the Caribbean, plus investors and project financiers. For more information, including an agenda and speaker lineup:



Lateral Thinking


The Lucayan people explained to high school students. A curator of Caribbean archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History is assembling suitcases filled with artifacts that explain the Lucayan people, inhabitants of the Caribbean for hundreds of years, for middle school and high school students in the Bahamas (English).



Quote of the Week


“La palabra impresa embalsama la verdad para la posteridad.”


“The printed word embalms the truth for posterity.”


– Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980), Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist.



We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or suitcases full of relics to


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