The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


February 12, 2018 edition—Total’s Guyana interests; the DR’s natural gas plants; and geothermal licenses awarded.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. The IMF forecasts a good year for Nicaragua’s economy.


Greater Antilles. Cuba wants help to reach its renewable energy goals and the CDEEE will turn to natural gas for power.


Lesser Antilles. Range is happy with its T&T wells and St. Eustatius awarded geothermal licenses.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Total is interested in Guyana’s offshore; Venezuela’s outages helped OPEC; and Colombia needs to expand LPG capacity.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic’s growth (Spanish); the UN statement on the Guyana-Venezuela border (English); and Pier Oil’s inspection for its oil containment construction project (English).



Political Economy


The CDB expects the Caribbean economy to grow 2% in 2018. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) forecasts 2% regional economic growth in 2018 (English). The CDB reported developmental gains for the region in 2017, despite the catastrophic Atlantic hurricane season (English).


Fitch is happy with Jamaica, but Moody’s is disappointed with Venezuela… Fitch has revised Jamaica’s outlook from stable to positive and affirmed the long-term foreign and local currency issue default ratings of “B” (English). Moody’s warned that Venezuela’s falling oil production has pushed the country into deeper economic stress (English).


and the IMF is proud of Nicaragua’s economy. In 2017, Nicaragua’s economic performance was above expectations, and the outlook is favorable for 2018 (English). The IMF recommends that Nicaragua fortify its policy framework, implementing the international taxation law and reducing tax expenditures.


The WB launched an historic cat bond. Aon Securities structured a US$1.36bn parametric earthquake catastrophe bond for the World Bank (English) (Spanish). Across five tranches of notes, the bond will provide three years of coverage to Chile, Colombia, and Perú, and two years to Mexico.


Remittances skyrocketed in 2017. Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean reached US$75bn in 2017, an 8% increase compared to 2016 (English). The growth is explained by the increase in migration, the frequency at which migrants send remittances, and the increase in the remittance amounts.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Range is happy with its T&T well. Range Resources is pleased with the production results from its latest well in Trinidad & Tobago (English). The GY 684 well was drilled to a depth of 4,300 feet in December 2017.


Total has Guyana’s offshore in sight. Total plans to buy two exploration licenses for 12,000 sq km offshore Guyana (English). The French company agreed to acquire a 35% working interest in the Canje Block, and a 25% working interest in the Kanuku Block from Repsol.


Venezuela’s outages helped OPEC hit its target. Involuntary production outages in Venezuela pushed OPEC production below target in January (English). Venezuela’s 467,000 b/d cut was five times as high as necessary, almost singlehandedly enabling OPEC to substantially overshoot its production targets.


Venezuela said no to the ICJ option. Venezuela rejected the United Nations’ decision to refer its border dispute with Guyana to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) (English). Venezuela prefers bilateral negotiations with Guyana to try to reach a resolution about the border and the disputed oil fields.



Oil & Gas Downstream


US shale could propel Caribbean oil storage terminals. Caribbean oil terminals have suffered due to the fall in Venezuelan output. Blending US oil at the terminals may help them recover from the loss of the Venezuelan supply (English).


The Cano Limon pipeline attack will have lasting effects. The bomb attack by ELN rebels destroyed a section of Colombia’s second largest oil pipeline, extending an operational stoppage that began in early January (English). The attack caused a crude spillage in Saravena from the 485-mile, 210,000 b/d capacity pipeline.


The Trump administration considers further sanctions on Venezuela’s oil. The Trump administration is pondering new sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector. Analysts think the sanctions will be imposed in stages after Venezuela’s presidential election in April (English). An import ban is a last resort, according to the Eurasia Group.


Colombia must expand its LPG production capacity or import more. Ecopetrol needs to invest in LPG capacity to cover rising domestic demand or Colombia would need to import LPG in the coming years at higher prices (English). Ecopetrol diverted large quantities of LPG for its internal use in 2017.



Renewables & Electricity


FARC dissidents knocked out a power tower. FARC dissidents blew up a power transmission tower in Guaviare, cutting service to 22,000 inhabitants in the area (Spanish). Inspecting the area, soldiers found an explosive device and a sign referring to the FARC.


The CDEEE will turn to natural gas for power. The Dominican state-owned electric utility announced negotiations to acquire natural gas supply and investment to convert plants that operate with fuel oil (English) (Spanish). The private electricity industry encourages the effort to generate power through clean energy sources.


The EU promotes energy and development projects in the Caribbean. Jamaica received a US$10m grant from the EU for its energy efficiency program (English). The INTERREG Caribbean program, co-financed by the EU, will allocate EUR64.2m to strengthen economic development in French Guyana, Guadalupe, Martinique, and Saint Martin (English).


Geothermal licenses were awarded in St. Eustatius. Teranov was granted geothermal exploratory licenses by Saba and St. Eustatius in the Dutch West Indies (English). The permits allow Teranov to explore geothermal resources during the next three years on both islands to qualify geothermal resources for industrial exploitation.


Cuba needs help reaching its renewable energy goals. Foreign investment in Cuba is critical to develop renewable energy, with the government’s renewable energy investment goal amounting to US$3.5bn. IRENA recommended a 10MW solar PV project in Cuba to the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (English).



Old School Social


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


Recam is scheduled for March 6-8 at the Hilton Hotel in Panama City.



Lateral Thinking


A Canadian couple brought home a different Caribbean souvenir on their feet. A Canadian couple was diagnosed with cutaneous larva migrants after walking barefoot on a Caribbean tropical beach (English). People can become infected with hookworms when walking on beach sand where infected dogs or cats have defecated.



Quote of the Week


“Hay muertos que mueren por morirse, pero hay muertos que reviven y que son inmortales.”


“There are dead people who die just to die, but there are dead people who revive and are immortal.”


-Rómulo Betancourt (1908-1981), Venezuelan politician and journalist. This is a quote from Hombres y villanos.



We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or bad Caribbean souvenirs to


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