The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


June 14, 2020 edition–Grenada’s geothermal energy; ExxonMobil’s discovery; and Trinidad & Tobago’s natural gas production.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America.

Costa Rica starts working on green hydrogen; the US blacklisted four Nicaraguans; and the IMF visited Belize.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. MPC Caribbean will enjoy the Dominican Republic’s solar; EVs in Jamaica remain costly; and an Iranian warship in the Caribbean worries the US.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Grenada still trusts geothermal energy; and Trinidad & Tobago plans to reach pre-COVID levels by 2022.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Black & Veatch evaluated an LNG regasification facility; PDVSA’s oil exports fell 21.7% in 2021; and ExxonMobil hit black gold again in Guyana.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Venezuela’s new partners (Reuters – English); Chevron’s license renewal (Nasdaq – English); and Venezuela’s oil exports (Reuters – English).



Government & NGO


Colombia reopened the economy. The government announced the economic re-opening of all sectors after June 8, a decision questioned by the medical community considering the increase in the number of infections and deaths (France24 – Spanish).


The US blacklisted four Nicaraguans. The US imposed sanctions on four Nicaraguans, including a daughter of President Daniel Ortega, and warned it would continue to use diplomatic and economic tools against members of the government that it accused of undermining democracy (Reuters – English).


The IMF visited Belize. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 72% fall in tourist arrivals in 2020, with a contraction of real GDP of 14.1% in 2020 (IMF – English). Real GDP is projected to grow at 1.5% in 2021 and 6.2% in 2022.


Grenada negotiated a loan with the IADB. The Caribbean nation’s government acquired a US$8.95m loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to use as a stimulus package for persons who have been affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (Jamaica Gleaner – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


ExxonMobil hit black gold again in Guyana. ExxonMobil made a successful crude oil discovery at its Longtail-3 well offshore of Guyana (Platts – English). The oil giant said drilling at Longtail-3 encountered 230 feet of net pay, including newly identified hydrocarbon reservoirs below the original Longtail-1 discovery intervals.


Frontera restarted operations. The Canadian company received federal and local support in restarting its operations at production centers in Colombia (Natural Gas World – English). Frontera resumed operations at its CPE-6 asset in Colombia after road blockades were lifted.


Trinidad & Tobago plans to reach pre-COVID levels by 2022. The Caribbean nation aims to restore natural gas production to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2022. More than 1Bcf/d of production will come from offshore developments by foreign producers BP, Shell, BHP, and EOG (Argus Media – English).


Colombia plans oil output to remain at 800,000 bpd. Colombia expects oil output to remain between 780,000 and 800,000 barrels per day this year, close to the 2020 average (Hellenic Shipping News – English). The Caribbean nation’s output fell 12% last year due to low global crude prices and the drop in demand.


Venezuela’s oil bet may present some investment risks. Oswaldo Cisneros had a 40% stake in the PetroDelta joint venture with PDVSA in Venezuela’s crude production on six heavy oil fields (Argus Media – English). Cisneros bet the venture would grow into a successful model.


Bondholders may wait for Suriname’s oil to flow. Suriname’s creditors could try to delay restructuring talks until oil flows from recent offshore discoveries. The government asked them to accept a 70% discount on principal payments and lower coupons in a proposed bond swap (Latin Finance – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


PDVSA’s oil exports fell 21.7% in 2021. PDVSA’s oil export average reached a volume of 649,760 daily barrels between January and May, a 21.7% drop compared to the first five months of 2020 (Petroguia – Spanish).


The Caribbean will say no to heavy oil fuels. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said Caribbean Community countries have an opportunity to increase the use of natural gas within the Caribbean, transitioning away from coal and heavy fuel oil (Jamaica Observer – English).


An Iranian warship in the Caribbean worries the US. The US warned Venezuela and Cuba to turn away Iranian ships (Politico – English). The former oil tanker that the Iranian Navy converted into a warship could be carrying millions of gallons of fuel to Venezuela to avoid US sanctions (USNI News – English).



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Black & Veatch evaluated an LNG regasification facility. Funded by a US grant, the engineering firm conducted a feasibility study for an LNG regasification facility in Colombia (Natural Gas World – English). The company would focus on the development of the LNG regasification facility and 400MW of gas-powered generation.


Höegh LNG got a minority stake in Gen2 Energy. Gen2 Energy and Höegh LNG agreed to cooperate on the development of a seaborne logistics chain for green hydrogen. Höegh LNG’s contributions mainly relate to the company’s experience in shipping and importing natural gas, establishing energy infrastructure, and maintaining complex logistics chains (Port News – English).


Colombia’s natural gas demand went down. Between May 31 and June 6, natural gas delivered to final users reached 851Gbtud, 0.6% less than the 856Gbtud registered the previous week (Valora Analitik – Spanish). The industrial sector registered a 5% increase in natural gas demand, followed by a 4% increase in the refinery sector.


Colombia will secure oil and gas self-sufficiency. Colombia plans to secure fuel and gas supply with a re-gasification plant in the Pacific, the “Colombia Round 2021,” the expansion of the Barú regasification plant, and the development of non-conventional fields (Portafolio – Spanish).



Electric Power & Renewables


MPC Caribbean will enjoy the Dominican Republic’s solar. MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund signed an agreement to acquire a portion of a 33.4MWp operating solar farm in the Dominican Republic (Renewables Now – English). The solar farm’s size will be expanded to 74MWp by 2022.


Bogotá will rely on self-supply and sustainable mobility. The Business Center Connecta 26 is counting on three solar systems with an installed capacity of 481kWp, and expects the installation of 537 additional solar modules by the end of 2021 (PV Magazine – Spanish). Colombia has 15,893MW of ongoing renewable energy projects in the development pipeline (Renewables Now – English).


Costa Rica is working on green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is working in Costa Rica, as the country has a favorable environment for its production and a great availability of clean energy sources and water sources (El Financiero CR – Spanish).


Grenada still trusts geothermal energy. Grenada remains interested in exploring its geothermal development potential (Think Geoenergy – English). With a current power generation capacity of around 53MW and a peak demand of 32MW (2010), it is driven by diesel-fueled power generation.


EVs in Jamaica remain costly. According to the power utility watchdog, the cost of electric vehicles remains about 10% higher than petrol-powered cars, which creates a barrier for their adoption in Jamaica (Jamaica Gleaner – English).



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 World Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air is scheduled for June 23-24 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


The Island Resilience Action Challenge will be held on June 30.



Lateral Thinking


Panama drinks its first solar beer. Celsia cut the ribbon on the first National Beer of Panamá center that works with solar energy (PV magazine – Spanish). The solar plant will have an estimated production of 154,791kWh per year in the Colón Province.



Quote of the Week


“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”



– Junot Diaz (1968), Dominican-American writer and creative writing professor at MIT.




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