The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


March 30, 2020 edition–Curacao’s oil terminal seized; Barbados’ curfew; and The Bahamas’ drilling postponement.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Honduras’ sun will power cement production; El Salvador’s EDP got funding to build an LNG terminal; and EEGSA and Energuate guaranteed power during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Tullow wrote off its oil exploration license for Jamaica; COVID-19 pushed back drilling in The Bahamas; and Jamaica has pumped hydro in sight.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Barbados will be under curfew until April 14; Curacao took control of Bonaire’s PdV oil terminal; and Trinidad & Tobago has enough LPG for everyone.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. PDVSA plans to restart gasoline production; Tullow has no plans in Guyana; and Colombia doubled power generation with gas and coal.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in CARICOM’s discussion with the IMF (Pride News – English); Apache’s plans (Energy Now – English); and Barbados and Suriname’s relationship (CBC – English).



Government & NGO


Trinidad & Tobago has a multibillion-dollar package to fight COVID-19… The government announced a multibillion-dollar package, which includes a TT$1,500 monthly payment to unemployed persons for the next three months, as the Caribbean nation deals with the coronavirus pandemic’s effects (Pride News – English).


…and Puerto Rico announced a US$787m relief package. Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced incentives to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on workers and companies (Caribbean Business – English). A 90-day moratorium on mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, and credit cards has been established.


St Kitts & Nevis also launched a stimulus package. The government announced a stimulus package of nearly EC$120 million and the postponement of the payment of property taxes from June to September 2020, as well as the removal of value added tax (VAT). St. Kitts & Nevis is the only CARICOM country with no cases of the coronavirus (CBC – English).


Barbados will be under curfew until April 14. Barbados entered into Stage 3 of the response to COVID-19. With the declaration of a public health emergency, a curfew will be implemented from 8 pm to 6 am until April 14 (Loop News Barbados – English).


The IMF and World Bank’s initiative will benefit several Caribbean countries. The suspension of debt payments as a result of COVID-19 announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will benefit Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, and St Lucia (Jamaica Observer – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Tullow wrote off its oil exploration license for Jamaica… Tullow Oil has written off its oil exploration license for the Walton-Morant Basin offshore Jamaica, taking a US$36m hit due to “expiry or planned exit” (Jamaica Gleaner – English). Tullow holds an 80% interest in the project.


…and has no plans in Guyana. Tullow has no plans to drill for oil in Guyana in 2020, as the company has to assess the results from three wells drilled in 2019 (Stabroek News – English). Tullow has also written off those three wells.


Colombia’s drilling was affected by fuel prices. In February, Colombia had 129 active perforation equipment, 45 devoted to drilling. Historically, drilling goes down in the first months of the year, but global oil prices pushed down the use of drilling equipment (Valora Analitik – Spanish).


COVID-19 pushed back drilling in The Bahamas. Bahamas Petroleum decided to postpone the spudding of a well until October 2020 due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic (Offshore Technology – English). The company previously planned to spud the well in May or June.


The price war made it impossible for Latin American oil producers to cover costs. Latin America’s average cost for lifting an oil barrel has been close to US$13 since 2019, but the price war is drying up spot sales of Latin American heavy grades, with Venezuela’s Merey crude being sold at US$8 per barrel (Energy World – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


PDVSA plans to restart gasoline production. Venezuela’s state-owned company is working to fix the catalytic cracker at El Patito refinery to restart gasoline production at the facility (Reuters – English). US sanctions have made fuel imports difficult and caused widespread gasoline shortages.


Curacao took control of Bonaire’s PdV oil terminal. RdK, Curacao’s state-owned company, seized PdV’s Bopec oil terminal on Bonaire to force PDVSA to comply with long overdue payments (Argus Media – English). If PDVSA still does not comply, RdK will seek a Dutch court ruling to sell all Propernyn BV shares.


The Bahamas do not fear fuel supply interruption from COVID-19. The Bahamas’ petroleum suppliers said they do not foresee disruptions to fuel flow due to the coronavirus pandemic (Tribune 242 – English). Sun Oil and Sol Petroleum Bahamas assured that they are well-stocked, and they expect the market to be well-supplied.


COVID-19 hit Venezuelan oil exports. Two cargoes of Venezuelan crude were delayed due to health inspections to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Reuters – English). The largest shipment involved is the Delta Angelica tanker, which was bound for India’s Reliance Industries with 1.9 million barrels of heavy Merey crude.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Colombia doubled power generation with gas and coal. The president of the National Association of Generation Companies of Colombia (Andeg) said that since December, gas and coal plants have contributed 55GWh, 33.5% of the total power demand (Valora Analitik – Spanish). Compared to 2017, the country has doubled power generation with thermal plants.


Trinidad & Tobago has enough LPG for everyone. The government reassured the public, saying that there is no shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or cooking gas in the Caribbean nation, and that there is an adequate and consistent supply and distribution of the product (Trinidad Express – English).


El Salvador’s EDP got funding to build an LNG terminal. Energía del Pacífico (EDP) received a US$657m loan to develop a thermoelectric plant with an installed capacity of 378MW in Acajutla (Lexlatin – Spanish). The plant will start operations by the end of 2021 (Mundo Marítimo – Spanish).


Methanex has no plans to reduce its T&T workforce. The Canadian methanol producer expects a fall in methanol demand in the second quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans to reduce production at its methanol facilities, including the Titan methanol plant (Trinidad Express – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


Colombian companies replaced Naturgy in Electricaribe. Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) and Consorcio Energía de la Costa (Enerpereira and LatinCorp) will be the new operators of Electricaribe, replacing Naturgy, the owner prior to the plant’s nationalization in 2016 (El Diario – Spanish) (Ciarglobal – Spanish).


Honduras’ sun will power cement production. The 10.6MW solar farm will provide 20% of the energy needed in the Cementos Argos’ cement plant in Comayagua (PV Magazine – Spanish). The plant has 32,160 solar panels installed.


Soventix will add 60MW of solar to the Dominican Republic’s grid. The National Energy Commission (CNE) and the company Electronic JRC agreed to increase the generation capacity of the second phase of the Monte Plata Solar project to 60MW (PV Magazine – Spanish). The second phase capacity was doubled and will be connected to the national grid.


EEGSA and Energuate guaranteed power during the COVID-19 pandemic. EGGSA and Energuate will reconnect clients disconnected due to late payment during the coronavirus pandemic (DCA – Spanish). Guatemalan generators will not cut power supply to El Salvador despite late payments (El Mundo – Spanish).


Jamaica has pumped hydro in sight. The Caribbean nation is studying the installation of a pumped hydro storage on its electric grid to supply the Caribbean nation in times of need (New Energy Events – English). The system could generate up to 200MW.



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. Don’t forget to stay six feet apart!)


The online event “Price War Meets Pandemic – Energy’s Perfect Storm in Latin America” will be held April 1.


The online event “Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean” is scheduled for April 2.


The SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference was rescheduled to July 28-30 at the Ágora Convention Center in Bogotá.



Lateral Thinking


The IDB will bring technology to SMEs in the Caribbean. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and TransparentBusiness will facilitate access to remote working technologies to SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean (IADB – English). The goal is to support female entrepreneurs in managing remote work teams.



Quote of the Week


“All things in the fulness of time.”



– Colin Channer (1963), Jamaican writer.


We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or technology to work from home to


Tell your friends and colleagues about the Weekly Brief! They can sign up for a free one-month trial here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]