The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


June 4, 2018 edition–Costa Rica’s hydro power; Guyana’s oil production; and Nicaragua’s crisis.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica disagrees over hydro project; peace talks ended in Nicaragua with four people killed in a protest; and Guatemala keeps an eye on gas stations.


Greater Antilles. Jamaica has high hopes from 3D oil and gas surveys; Alberto hit Cuba; and Taiwan invested in Haiti’s energy infrastructure.


Lesser Antilles. Bahamas’ Andros has a new US$50m power plant; Moody’s kept Bermuda’s rating; and BP developed a subsea field.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Norwegian analysts forecast a lot of Guyanan oil; Venezuelan loadings need a premium in the Caribbean Aframax market; and Guyana wants the Caribbean to prepare for oil spills.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Barbados’ elections (English); Puerto Rico’s waste-to-energy plant (English); and Valero’s imports (English).



Political Economy


The IMF visited Barbados and Colombia. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Barbados’ real growth reached 1.6% in 2016 thanks to tourism and is projected to slow to 0.9% in 2017 and 0.5% in 2018 (English). The IMF approved a two-year arrangement for Colombia under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) for US$11.4bn, replacing the previous arrangement (English).


Moody’s maintains Bermuda’s rating. The international rating agency affirmed Bermuda’s A2 issuer ratings and its A2 senior unsecured bond ratings (English). Moody’s expects Bermuda’s economic growth to average 1.5% between 2017 and 2021.


China and Taiwan compete for the Caribbean. Haiti expects Taiwan to help strengthen its energy infrastructure (French) while Taiwan and El Salvador expect to achieve business agreements of over US$2m (Spanish). China and Panama will launch free trade agreements by June 12 (Spanish).


The first storm of the hurricane season hit Cuba… Subtropical storm Alberto unloaded heavy rains on Cuba and preliminary reports indicated four deaths and considerable material infrastructure damage (English). Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel attended a government meeting to evaluate the island’s complex situation (Spanish) after the storm.


…and over 4,600 people died in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. According to a study, the number of people who died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria was 5,740 (English). It was also determined that 4,645 more people died in the final months of 2017 than in the same period in 2016.


Nicaragua’s political crisis deepened. Peace talks ended after 11 people were killed and 79 wounded (English) during the last mass protest. The political crisis is affecting employment in the service sector, cutting jobs by 30% (Spanish).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Guyana wants the Caribbean to prepare for oil spills. Guyana plans to meet with Caricom member states to discuss the impact and response to oil spills on island nations (English). Concerns have been raised about the legal liability of wide-scale pollution should such an incident occur.


Jamaica is happy with its 3D oil and gas survey results. Jamaica received encouraging indications (English) of commercial quantities of oil and gas from the most recent round of offshore surveys. Tullow’s decision to do 3D seismic surveys shows that the data points in the right direction.


A whole lot of Guyana oil is expected. The Norwegian oil and gas research firm Rystad Energy forecasts Guyana’s oil sector could produce 600,000 barrels per day by the end of the next decade (English). After all costs are paid, US$10bn of profit could be split between the companies and the government (English).


T&T’s NGC will partner up with Mozambique’s ENH. Trinidad & Tobago’s National Gas Company (NGC) signed a landmark technical services agreement (TSA) with Empresa Nacional de HidroCarbonetos (ENH), the petroleum company of Mozambique in charge of research, prospecting, and commercialization of petroleum products (English).


The Caribbean contributed to BP’s good year. BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said seven major developments in 2017 made it one of the best years for commissioning new projects. In Trinidad & Tobago, the first subsea field development will produce natural gas 50 miles off the southeast coast with a US$2bn investment (English).



Oil & Gas Downstream


Venezuelan loadings need a premium in the Caribbean Aframax market. The Caribbean Aframax market is settling into two camps as Venezuelan loadings were booked (English). Exxon booked the Esther Baikal to load a 70,000mt cargo for a Covenas-US Gulf Coast run at Worldscale 117.5 without a reported loading date.


Guatemala keeps an eye on gas stations. Due to the increase in fuel prices, the Energy and Mines Ministry increased its review of gas stations and LP gas supply plants (Spanish) in Escuintla, Chimaltenango, Petén, and Guatemala. The goal is to avoid fuel price speculation.


Guyana will employ 200 to build new gas infrastructure. The Guyana government says more than 200 nationals will be employed during the construction phase for natural gas and liquid petroleum plants (English). A new power transmission line from the site to GPL’s new substation will also be built.


Bermuda’s future is LNG. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is about to take delivery of its first gas fuel supply vessel, Kairos, carrying 7,500 cubic meters to power companies in the Baltic (English). Belco evaluated natural gas as the top principal fuel option to power the island in the future.



Renewables & Electricity


Costa Rica fights over a major hydro project. Costa Rica’s new Environmental and Energy Minister opposes the Diquís project that the state power company has been promoting for 10 years (Spanish) in Puntarenas. The Diquís project plans to construct a 650MW plant.


Solar projects shine in the Caribbean. A 51MWp photovoltaic park in Jamaica (English) found funding for completion. Cuba plans to add two solar parks in the Lesca community and outside the city, both with a 2.2MW capacity, in 2019 (Spanish).


Bahamas’ Andros will power up with a new US$50m power plant. A Bahamian consortium is bidding to develop a US$40-50m biomass-fueled power plant in North Andros (English). The proposal involves generating energy from biomass produced through 5,000 acres of cleared-up farm land.


The DR is after irregular power sales. Private providers involved in the Electricity Pact have boosted their revenues by supplying companies serving non-regulated users (Spanish). The state-owned distributors bought power from the generators at 12 or 13 US cents per kWh, but then resold it to non-regulated users at 8 cents.


Las Terrenas may be left in the dark. The DR’s Ede Este announced that it terminated the electricity supply contract with Luz y Fuerza (English) that supplies Las Terrenas and nearby El Limón. The power company pledged to make an effort to guarantee quality electric service in Samaná.



Old School Social


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


The Conferencia Internacional de Energías Renovables is scheduled for June 14-15 in Panama City.


The Cuba Energy Oil and Gas will be held June 27-29 at the Meliá Cohiba in La Habana, Cuba.


Lateral Thinking


The CDB funded climate resilience in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Development Bank okayed a project to increase the use of technology to build greater climate resilience (English). The three-year grant of US$1.5m will support flight-mapping services to collect Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data.



Quote of the Week


“Eso del feminismo es un absurdo. ¿Por qué las mujeres han de formar un grupo aparte y colocarse en actitud hostil ante los hombres? La humanidad se compone de hombres y de mujeres, y es a los hombres y a las mujeres a quienes les toca luchar unidos para volver habitable esta tierra.”


“Feminism is absurd. Why do women have to form a separate group and place themselves in a hostile position against men? Humanity is formed of men and women, and men and women are in charge to fight together to make Earth habitable.”


-Carmen Lyra (1887-1949), Costa Rican writer, teacher, and politician.



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