The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


May 3, 2020 edition–Costa Rica’s LNG Pacific terminal; ExxonMobil’s discovery; and Colombia’s sun.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica will launch the LNG Pacific terminal tender; Guatemala’s self-supply is under construction; and two tugs will help out Energía del Pacífico’s LPG terminal in El Salvador.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Dominican Republic’s CNE okayed a biofuel project; the BPC will “relinquish” 50% of its license area; and Puerto Rico’s LNG import terminal will be busy.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. NGC and Proman Trinidad resumed their gas supply agreement; and Barbados will explore ocean energy.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Total E&P Suriname and ASCO will work together; ExxonMobil hit black gold again offshore Guyana; and Celsia finished a solar rooftop in Cartagena’s port.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Canacol’s plans (Globe News Wire – English); Colombia’s natural gas demand (Valora Analitik – Spanish); and Seabord’s new plant (Diario Libre – Spanish).



Government & NGO


The US promised more aid for Central America. Vice president Kamala Harris said the US wants to increase aid to the Central American region and manage migration in a secure and humane way (Reuters – English). The US unveiled an additional US$310m for Central America (Reuters – English).


The US and the UK sanctioned Guatemalan officials over corruption. The US and the UK imposed sanctions on a member of Guatemala’s congress over alleged corruption, as the US presses certain Central American governments to reduce graft (Reuters – English).


Dominican Republic’s exports keep rising. The Dominican Exporters Association (Adoexpo) said exports in the first quarter of 2021 totaled US$2.8bn, a 9.7% growth compared to the same period last year (Dominican Today – English) (Diario Libre – Spanish). Dominican imports grow close to 10% in the first quarter of 2021 (Diario Libre – Spanish).


Nicaragua’s inflation reached 1.35% due to fuels. Nicaragua’s inflation increased by 0.23% in March, reaching 1.35% (La Prensa – Spanish). The increase in fuel prices directly hit production costs and prices in the country.


The CCSA requested funding from the CDB. The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator (CCSA) applied for financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) toward the cost of Consultancy Services for Development of a Caribbean Blended Finance for Resilience Fund (New Energy Events – English). The proceeds will apply a portion of the proceeds to eligible payments under a contract.



Oil & Gas Upstream


The BPC will “relinquish” 50% of its license area. The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) will relinquish 50% of the area that it was allowed to explore for oil (Tribune 242 – English). BPC oil exploration licenses are set to expire at the end of June 2021.


Total E&P Suriname and ASCO will work together. ASCO was awarded an integrated logistics management contract from Total E&P Suriname BV. ASCO will provide onshore logistics, pipe yard, plant, procurement services, and specialist lifting and training activity (Energy New – English).


Guyana encouraged nationals to go into the oil sector. The senior minister in the office of president Dr. Ashni Singh says local businesspeople and companies should seek opportunities to penetrate and benefit from the oil and gas sector (Caribbean News Global – English).


Guyana’s opposition met with Exxon. Opposition leader Joseph Harmon was happy with the meeting with ExxonMobil Guyana officials on problems with the offshore oil platform (Stabroek News – English). The opposition expressed their opposition to flaring, except when permitted at pilot light level.


ExxonMobil hit black gold again offshore Guyana. The oil giant made an oil discovery at the Uaru-2 well in the Stabroek block (OGJ – English). The well was drilled in 5,659 ft (1,725 m) of water and lies some 6.8 miles (11 km) south of the Uaru-1 well.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Venezuela bet on oil refining, hitting crude exports. The state-owned company is using its medium and light crude for refining, affecting blending operations to produce exportable grades (Market Screener – English). The increase in local refining has been prompted by fuel supply shortages that have led to rationing and queues.


Dominican Republic’s CNE okayed a biofuel project. The Caribbean nation’s National Energy Commission (CNE) recommended that the executive branch should hand a 25-year concession to Ridge Partners Línea Noroeste for the waste-to-diesel biofuel project (BN Americas – English). The plant would be built in the Laguna Salada municipality.


Venezuela arrests 10 for illegal fuel sales… The Caribbean nation’s attorney general said that 10 officials from the state-owned company were arrested for selling 3 million liters (792,516 gallons) of fuel illegally (Reuters – English). Meanwhile, long lines at fuel stations continue due to gasoline and diesel shortages.


…and Colombia keeps fighting illegal valves. By the end of September 2020, Ecopetrol found almost 900 illegal valves on pipelines during the first eight months of the year compared to 747 for the same period in 2019 (Baystreet – English). Ecopetrol estimates 2,500 barrels per day of oil and derivative products were being stolen.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


NGC and Proman Trinidad resumed their gas supply agreement. The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited (NGC) and Proman Trinidad announced the resumption of an interim gas supply arrangement that will help restart MHTL’s M4 and M5000 methanol plants (Energy Now – English).


Puerto Rico’s LNG import terminal will be busy. According to GIIGNL, global LNG imports increased in 2020 by 0.4% year on year to 356.1 million mt (Platts – English). Puerto Rico is among the eight new LNG import terminals that were commissioned in 2020.


Costa Rica will launch the Pacific terminal tender. On April 29, the Terminal Pacífico public tender was published to provide the Caribbean nation with another supply point on the Pacific (BN Americas – English). Costa Rica currently concentrates 100% of the LP gas national inventories in the Moín Terminal.


Two tugs will help out Energía del Pacífico LPG terminal in El Salvador. Two Rastar 3200-W tugs from UZMAR and SAAM have arrived in El Salvador; they will assist and escort LNG carriers while providing support to the Energía del Pacífico terminal (Maritime – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


Celsia finished a solar rooftop in Cartagena’s port. Celsia put into operation a 2.2MW rooftop solar system for the International Logistics Distribution Centre of Colombia’s Port of Cartagena (Renewables Now – English) (PV Magazine – Spanish). The plant will meet 10% of the port’s power demand.


The US and the Caribbean will cooperate on energy. US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and foreign ministers of Caricom met and rekindled cooperation in several areas, including energy (Argus Media – English). The cooperation will address trade, investment, security, health, energy, disaster management, and climate change.


Renovatio got the first Colombian PPA from renewables auction. The Colombian power retailer, which has been running a private renewables auction since November 2020, signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA), securing some 23GWh per year from a solar farm (Renewables Now – English).


Barbados will explore ocean energy. Barbados’ Ministry of Energy, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship conducted an ocean energy consultation from January 2020 to March 2021 to explore the feasibility of pursuing alternative energy sources (Jamaica Gleaner – English). They identified 16 possible ocean energy project scenarios.


Guatemala’s self-supply is under construction. Isotron is building a 10MW solar self-supply plant in the Zacapa department, Guatemala (PV Magazine – Spanish). The plant expects to be in operation by the end of 2020 and will power up the regional industry.



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!)



XXX La Jolla Energy Virtual Conference will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout May.



Lateral Thinking


Panama’s energy transition could help out the economy. As part of post-COVID-19 recovery plans, the energy transition will bring benefits for the environment and the economy, including the creation of new jobs (Modern Diplomacy – English). The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) published a report on the benefits.



Quote of the Week


“With the windows open and the plantation shutters folded back, the night breeze gently caressed me as it passed through the room.”



– Natasha Rufin, Bahaman writer.




We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or energy transition plans to


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