The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


March 25, 2019 edition– Dominica’s geothermal; BHP’s T&T gas; and EDPR’s Colombian wind.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Guatemala’s hydropower works at full speed.


Greater Antilles. Parkland Fuel got 526 gas stations in the Dominican Republic; Cuba will take advantage of its wind; and the San Juan power plant awaits natural gas.


Lesser Antilles. The WB boosts geothermal power in Dominica; BHP will hit the gas on Trinidad & Tobago’s wells; and Grenada is doing its economic homework.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. EDPR won big on a Colombian tender; Amerisur Resources raised its bet on Put-8 block; and Eco has high hopes for Guyana’s potential.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in China’s help during the Venezuelan blackout (English); and the IMF’s offer to boost Haiti’s economy (English).



Political Economy


Trump will meet with Caribbean leaders. President Donald Trump will meet with the leaders of The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the Dominican Republic at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida (English). Trump will discuss his vision for the relationships in the Caribbean and opportunities for energy investment.


Haiti is looking for a new government. President Jovenel Moïse is looking for a new prime minister after the Lower Chamber of Deputies expelled Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant and his government with a no-confidence vote (English). Céant described the decision as “illegal and outside of the constitution.”


Jamaica begins a new phase of economic reforms. The Finance and Public Service Minister announced the start of the next phase of economic reforms to ensure low, stable, and predictable inflation (English). This inflation-targeting strategy is being incorporated by the Bank of Jamaica “as the cornerstone of monetary policy.”


Grenada is doing its homework. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) predicts 4.5% economic growth for 2019 in Grenada (English). The CDB pointed to construction, tourism, agriculture, and private education as the sectors to watch. Grenada launched an investigation into the failure of an aquaculture project financed by the CBI (English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


BHP will hit the gas on Trinidad & Tobago’s wells. BHP Group Ltd. has sped up exploration drilling in Trinidad & Tobago, looking for gas to supply the Atlantic LNG plant in the 2020s (English). BHP plans to complete drilling three wells by June.


Amerisur Resources raised its bet on the Put-8 block. Amerisur Resources decided to acquire an additional 50% interest in the Put-8 block in Colombia, becoming the only owner and operator (English). Amerisur Resources has drilled 17 wells in the block and the acquisition will cost US$19.1m.


Eco has high hopes for Guyana’s Orinduik block. Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas estimated the Orinduik block holds 3.98 billion boe, with oil representing 88% of the total (English). Guyana has become one of the world’s most desired exploration areas.


Venezuelan production suffers from sanctions. According to Platts, PDVSA shut production at one of its fields due to a fire (English) and postponed the restart of the Petro San Felix upgrader. PDVSA has no naphtha inventories to dilute the extra-heavy crude.


Colombia is one step closer to fracking. After publishing the verdict of a panel of industry and academia experts, the government has a list of recommendations to develop small-scale pilot projects for fracking (English). The government next has to decide which regulations to enforce for larger commercial developments.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Parkland Fuel got 526 gas stations in the Dominican Republic. Parkland Fuel Corp. purchased 75% of Sol Investment Limited, the owner of the Dominican Republic’s Esso gas stations (English). Parkland will have access to 526 Sol gas stations, increasing its annual fuel volume to more than 21 billion liters.


Venezuela’s oil may throw off the market…The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Venezuela’s production dropped to 1.14 million barrels per day, a further 100,000 barrels per day decline in February (English). Due to US sanctions, freight rates for clean oil products going to Venezuela are experiencing huge premiums (English).


… and Cuba may be another victim. Juan Guaidó is considering the permanent suspension of crude oil shipments to Cuba as Venezuela sends 47,000 barrels per day to Cuba, worth US$2.58m (English). The end of the Venezuelan crude imports could lead to power outages for Cuba.


The Caño Limón pipeline was hit again. The Caño Limón oil pipeline was bombed in the Teorama municipality, close to the Venezuelan border, producing an oil spill into a nearby river (English). The attack is the twelfth this year.



Renewables & Electricity


San Juan’s power plant awaits natural gas after makeover. The conversion to natural gas of units 5 and 6 at the Central Palo Seco combined cycle plant has started, modifying the piers to receive LNG (English). The transformation will take place by the end of the summer, bringing savings in power bills.


EDPR won big on a Colombian tender. EDP Renovaveis said it was awarded a 20-year supply contract for 492MW of wind power in a Colombian auction (English). The power will be delivered from the 212MW Alpha and 280MW Beta wind farms, that will start operation in 2022.


Guatemala’s hydropower is working at full speed. With the operation of the fourth phase of the hydroelectric plant, Renace has reached a generation capacity of 301MW (Spanish). Around 73% of Renace’s power production goes to EEGSA and Energuate and the surplus to big industrial clients.


The WB boosts geothermal power in Dominica. The World Bank approved a US$27m project to help in the construction of a 7MW geothermal plant in Dominica (English). The goal is to diversify the energy matrix and increase the use of renewables to power up the island.


Cuba will take advantage of its wind. The Empresa de Construcción y Montaje started the foundations for the 34 towers of the 51-MW La Herradura-1 wind farm in the Las Tunas province (English). The 50-MW La Herradura-2 farm is under construction and a substation will connect both wind parks to the national grid.



Old School Social


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


The 2nd Annual Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit & Exhibition 2019 is scheduled for March 26-28 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Guyana.



Lateral Thinking


Drought and its consequences menace Central America. A pine beetle that appears during droughts has resurfaced now that the region is suffering a dry spell that hit crops and drinking water reserves. Between 2013 and 2017, the gorgojo killed more than a quarter of the Central American conifers (English).



Quote of the Week


“Haar kind was nu de prijs die ze betaalde voor haar vrijheid,was die prijs te hoog? ze wist het niet.”


“Her child was now the price she paid for her freedom, was that price too high? She didn’t know.”



– Cynthia McLeod (1936), Surinamese novelist and daughter of the first President of Suriname, Johan Ferrier. Quote from Vaarwel Merodia: Kroniek van een Surinaamse familie, 1820-1890.


We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or beetle repellents to


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