The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


December 13, 2021 edition–Costa Rica’s geothermal; Trinidad & Tobago’s oil round; and Aruba’s LNG terminal.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Nicaragua and China will partner up; Enel Green Power cut the ribbon on two solar plants in Panamá; and Costa Rica has new geothermal legislation.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Haiti increased fuel prices; Cuba will power up with a bioelectric plant; and Dominion and Bas will shine in the Dominican Republic.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Trinidad & Tobago launched an oil round for 17 blocks; Eagle LNG will build Aruba’s terminal; and Touchstone discovered oil in Ortoire.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana is considering refinery proposals; Colombia will launch a bid on carbon-neutral fuel; and PDVSA used scrap metal to restart oil production.



Government & NGO


Barbados will work on sustainability. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $100 million loan to support sustainable development in Barbados (IADB – English). The program will support maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment and deepen the reforms initiated under the first operation.


Colombia will fight environmental crimes. Colombia’s national police has deployed 100 criminal intelligence and investigation officers in a strategy to tackle environmental crimes in the Caribbean country, citing illegal mining and animal trafficking among the gravest threats (Reuters – English).


The IMF has some advice for Barbados. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended Barbados’ government maintain the fiscal reform to strengthen the public debt sustainability outlook and support achievement of the regional debt target. In addition, the government’s fiscal plan should internalize the long-term implications of the large public investments (IMF – English).


Nicaragua and China will partner up. Chinese observers said Nicaragua will benefit from the opportunity to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), providing a pathway to improve and develop domestic infrastructure for local people (Global Times – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Touchstone discovered oil in Ortoire. The company released data from two tests of the Royston-1 exploration well on the Ortoire block, onshore in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (OGJ – Spanish). The first and deepest Royston-1 completion and exploration test was designed to evaluate an interval at the bottom of the well.


Trinidad & Tobago launched an oil round for 17 blocks. The Caribbean nation launched its 2021 competitive bid round for 17 deepwater oil blocks located off the Caribbean country’s northern and eastern coasts (Reuters – English). Both BP and Royal Dutch Shell produce in Trinidad and have expressed interest in some deepwater blocks, while other firms are nominating areas for the 2022 rounds (Reuters – English).


PDVSA used scrap metal to restart oil production. The state-owned company is handing out contracts to little-known local companies with the promise of payments in scrap metal, or in some cases, backpacks stuffed with US dollars, as sanctions limit Venezuela’s access to banks (World Oil – English).


Canacol Energy found black gold at Siku 1. The Canadian company made a gas discovery at its Siku 1 exploration well in Colombia (OGJ – English). The company completed casing the well and will return with a workover rig in early 2022 to complete and tie the well into permanent production.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Guyana is considering refinery proposals. Guyana is considering “more than 10” proposals from foreign companies to build and operate an oil refinery, but the government is in no hurry to have one (Argus Media – English). The government is “cautious” about accepting any of the proposals.


Haiti increased fuel prices. The Caribbean nation’s government announced a hike in fuel prices after years of costly subsidies as part of a plan to improve government finances, an unpopular measure that has in the past triggered violent street protests (Reuters – English). The price of gasoline will increase 20%.


Colombia will launch a bid on carbon-neutral fuel. Ecopetrol will offer 1 million carbon-neutral oil barrels (Portafolio – Spanish). Future carbon emissions from the fuel will be compensated by renewable energy projects’ carbon certificates.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Eagle LNG will build Aruba’s terminal. US firm Eagle LNG Partners signed a long-term contract to set up a $100-million liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification terminal in Aruba with domestic power and water utility WEB Aruba (Reuters – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


Costa Rica has new geothermal legislation. Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) held a technical analysis session on the bill for the direct use of geothermal resources on December 2, 2021 (Think Geoenergy – English). The goal is to favor not only the process of decarbonizing the national energy matrix, but also green economic reactivation.


Dominion and Bas will shine in the Dominican Republic. Both companies are building a 50MW solar farm in the Dominican Republic (Renewables – English). The El Soco plant could be connected to the grid in February-March 2022.


Cuba will power up with a bioelectric plant. The plant in the central province of Ciego de Avila will be connected to the national power grid on December 20 (Prensa Latina – English). The plant will burn sugar cane bagasse and other biomass like mimosa bushes, a species that grows throughout Cuba.


The Dominican Republic’s sun will make cellphones work in vulnerable areas. The Dominican Institute of Telecommunications launched a bid to provide 450 families with solar panels, broadband, and cellphones (PV Magazine – Spanish). The bid will end in April 2022.


Enel Green Power cut the ribbon on two solar plants in Panamá. Enel Green Power opened two solar plants in the Jagüito and Esperanza communities (PV Magazine – Spanish). The projects received an investment of US$30m.



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


Chevron and ExxonMobil will remain focused on the Caribbean. The big oil giants will remain focused on deepwater production in the Americas, from the tried-and-true US Gulf of Mexico to the expanding pioneer fields offshore of Guyana, Suriname, and potentially other South American nations (Platts – English).



Quote of the Week


“Quien quiere amor, suele conformarse con lo que se le parece.”


“Who wants love tends to settle for what looks like it.”



– Luis Negrón (1970), Puerto Rican writer.




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