The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


July 23, 2018 edition–T&T gas discovery; Cano Limon pipeline running; and PDVSA’s upgraders halted.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Japan awarded El Salvador three hydropower centrals.


Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic opened a new solar park; the PREC okayed renewables projects; and Venezuela keeps sending oil to Cuba.


Lesser Antilles. BHP found more gas offshore T&T; solar energy is gaining strength in Bermuda; and Shell is looking for a semi-sub rig for T&T.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia’s Cano Limon pipeline is open for business again; two PDVSA’s upgraders will go into maintenance; and SGR Energy plans to buy Colombia’s Swiss Terminal Barranquilla.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Honduras’ power auction (Spanish); and the Dominican Republic’s new renewable energy auctions (English).



Political Economy


Venezuela’s opposition plans to save PDVSA. Venezuela’s opposition introduced legislation to address laws that leave PDVSA unable to avoid creditors through bankruptcy procedures (English). However, even if the legislation is approved by the Assembly, the Supreme Court or the National Constituent Assembly will declare it null.


The IMF visited Guyana and Barbados. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Guyana’s macroeconomy will remain favorable, improving from slow growth in 2017 and accelerating with oil production in 2020 (English). The IMF forecasts that fiscal consolidation and debt restructuring are critical to restore debt sustainability and policy credibility in Barbados (English).


Haiti’s Prime Minister quit over fuel price protests. Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned when facing a no-confidence vote after the announcement of lower fuel subsidies prompted violent protests. The fuel subsidies reduction was part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (English).


Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and the US joined forces to fight Venezuelan corruption. Colombia’s Finance Minister met with Mexican, Panamanian, and US officials to share information on Venezuelan government officials suspected of corruption (English). The nations agreed to expand cooperation to fight illegal financial networks.


China may bet US$10bn on the Dominican Republic. China could invest US$10bn in the Dominican Republic in the tourism, energy, business, and infrastructure sectors (English). The sale of Dominican products in China reached around US$140m in 2017, and is expected to reach “500, 600 or billion” in one or two years.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Guyana could gain US$20bn from oil finds. Exxon explained that the Caribbean country could earn US$20bn in profits from the eight oil discoveries (English). Under the current fiscal regime, Guyana’s government collects its share through a 2% royalty and a 50% split of oil profit.


Shell is looking for a semi-sub rig for T&T. Shell invited expressions of interest to provide a semi-submersible rig for a drilling campaign offshore Trinidad and Tobago. The rig should be capable of drilling beyond 7,000 feet in water depths ranging from 450 to 1,500 feet (English).


BHP found more gas offshore T&T. BHP’s deepwater Victoria-1 well has found gas offshore Trinidad and Tobago. Once the Victoria-1 well is completed, the Deepwater Invictus will drill the Bongos prospect offshore northern Trinidad and Tobago (English).


SBM will be in charge of the second FPSO for Liza. An ExxonMobil subsidiary awarded SBM Offshore the contract to perform Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for a second Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading vessel (FPSO) for the Liza development (English). The company will construct, install, lease, and operate the FPSO for two years.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Despite its crises, Venezuela keeps sending oil to Cuba. Venezuela continued the supply of around 55,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba, costing Venezuela US$1.2bn per year (English). The money could be redirected towards Venezuela’s own crises to help it curb inflation and import medicines.


Two PDVSA’s upgraders will go into maintenance. Two of PDVSA’s four upgraders will undergo maintenance in the next weeks, reducing the company’s exports of upgraded crude (English). The upgraders convert heavy oil into exportable grades with a combined 700,000 barrel-per-day capacity.


Colombia’s Cano Limon pipeline is open up for business again. The Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline was restarted after a 180-day halt due to attacks by ELN rebels (English). The 780km pipeline was attacked 58 times this year, and 41 illegal taps were used to steal crude.


SGR Energy has Colombia’s Swiss Terminal Barranquilla in sight. SGR Energy plans to acquire Swiss Terminal Barranquilla from Fondo De Infraestructura Colombia. The 210,000-barrel facility will provide 50,000 barrels per day of product unloading capacity, 20,000 barrels per day product loading capacity, and 13 truck racks (English).


PetroChina is working to save a refinery. China’s state-run oil giant is reconfiguring a delayed refinery project designed to process Venezuelan crude (English). The decision highlights China’s failing downstream projects planned with PDVSA, endangering over US$50bn of Beijing’s loans.



Renewables & Electricity


Japan gifted El Salvador with three hydropower centrals. The Japanese government gave three hydropower generators valued at US$560,000 to three universities in El Salvador (Spanish). The goal is to prepare students in renewable energy issues.


Solar energy is discussed in Bermuda. A proposed solar farm at Bermuda’s airport was discussed at a public meeting while an environmental assessment for the project is being done (English). The Solar Energy Association was created to promote solar production on the island (English).


The Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on a new solar park. President Danilo Medina was at the inauguration of the 58MW Montecristi Solar Park in the community of Guayubin (English). The Energy and Mines minister argued solar energy development should be done in an orderly manner (English).


The PREC okayed renewables projects and FEMA, mega generators. Nine energy projects from Governor Luis Fortuño were evaluated by the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC) and designated as “critical projects” to expedite construction (English). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the purchase of three mega generators for Prepa (English).



Old School Social


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


The Latin American and the Caribbean Climate Week will be held August 20-23 at the Radisson Victoria Plaza Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay.



Lateral Thinking


PCJ and Wigton organized an energy summer camp. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and its subsidiary Wigton Windfarm Limited partnered up to host a youth summer camp series at the Wigton Renewable Energy Training Lab in Manchester. The camp activities will discuss energy generation and career goals (English).



Quote of the Week


“El hombre es una especie que falló como especie, un ser dedicado a destruir el medio en que vive.”


“Man is a species that failed as a species, a being devoted to destroying the environment where it lives.”



– Álvaro Mutis (1911-1981), Colombian novelist and poet.



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