The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


May 10, 2020 edition–Honduras’ renewables; Jamaica’s oil; and The Bahamas’ contaminated fuel.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica may ban oil exploration; Nicaragua’s natural gas plant makes good progress; and Honduras launched a renewable energy generation tender.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. United looks for a business partner in Jamaica’s oil; Sun Oil was accused of supplying “contaminated fuel” to BPL; and the DR’s Environment Ministry said no to power barges.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. BHP started producing oil at the Ruby field; the Cayman Islands will use its waste to power up; and the UAE-CREF awarded an EPC contract in Dominica.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana’s government launched a request for consulting services; Venezuela’s oil exports remained at 700,000 barrels per day; and India is after Guyana’s crude oil.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in biofuel (BN Americas – English); Dominican imports (Diario Libre – Spanish); and the US and the Caribbean’s energy cooperation (Argus Media – English).



Government & NGO


The Dominican Republic’s central bank kept its 3% rate. The Dominican Republic’s central bank decided to maintain the interest rate at 3% (Diario Libre – Spanish). The decision was taken considering the COVID-19 impact on economic activity and the future evolution of inflation.


Dominican exports to Haiti went up. Despite Haiti’s political and social situation, Dominican exports to the Caribbean nation grew during the first quarter of the year, reaching US$89.2m, a US$8.1m growth compared to the same period in 2020 (Diario Libre – Spanish).


Colombia’s protests continue. Riot police fired tear gas at protesters in Bogotá during the eight days of nationwide anti-government demonstrations (Reuters – English). The protests were called in opposition to a now-canceled tax reform plan.


S&P maintains Bermuda’s ratings. The international rating agency reaffirmed Bermuda’s A+ sovereign credit and long- and short-term debt ratings (Royal Gazette – English). S&P believes Bermuda’s moderate net general government debt burden, favorable external position, and political stability will contain the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis.


The IMF reviewed Guatemala and the Dominican Republic’s economy… The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Guatemala’s 2020 growth proved resilient to the pandemic (IMF – English). The Dominican Republic is expected to have a dynamic recovery in 2021, instrumental for raising income levels over the medium term (IMF – English).


…and Colombia and Suriname’s economy were also evaluated. The IMF evaluated and reaffirmed Colombia’s qualification for the arrangement under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) (IMF – English). The IMF reached an agreement with Suriname on a US$690m three-year program under the extended fund facility (IMF – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


United looks for a business partner in Jamaica’s oil. United Oil and Gas will invest US$400,000 to hunt for oil in Jamaica’s waters and started looking for a drilling partner (Jamaica Gleaner – English). The oil company holds a license to explore the Walton-Morant block.


Costa Rica may ban oil exploration. President Carlos Alvarado was emphatic regarding the ban of oil exploration, reminding lawmakers of the importance of ratifying the Escazú agreement (PV Magazine – Spanish). The agreement is the first regional agreement binding human rights and the environment.


BHP started producing oil at T&T’s Ruby field. BHP announced that the first oil production from the Ruby Field is out. The Ruby Field, as part of the Ruby-Delaware Field Development in Block 3(a), will produce oil and natural gas using six development wells (Energy Now – English).


ExxonMobil will switch Guyana’s compressor manufacturer. The Guyanese government says ExxonMobil will switch the manufacturer of the compressor equipment it uses to ensure no flaring during future projects (Loop News Caribbean – English). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) will adopt the new measure.


Guyana’s government launched a request for consulting services. The Caribbean nation’s government intends to procure consulting services for a commercial negotiator in the gas and power sector, petroleum data management for transparency, procurement process review for Oil Field Services and Equipment (OFSE), and value engineering ( – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Sun Oil was accused of supplying “contaminated fuel” to BPL. Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) received “contaminated fuel” from one of its suppliers, and the deputy prime minister pointed to Sun Oil (Tribune 242 – English). The head of the company said it was “prudent” not to respond to the accusations.


Colombia’s protests hit fuel distribution. Colombian fuel retailers association Fendipetroleo estimates that fuel sales have dropped by 30% from February levels of 138,000 barrels per day for gasoline and 117,000 barrels per day for diesel (Argus Media – English). Ecopetrol reported intermittent roadblocks near the Barrancabermeja refinery.


Venezuela’s oil exports remained at 700,000 barrels per day. The Caribbean nation’s oil exports in April were maintained at 700,000 barrels per day for the third month in a row (Economic Times – English). A total of 25 cargoes set sail from Venezuelan waters last month.


India is after Guyana’s crude oil. India’s High Commissioner to Guyana is interested in formalizing a long-term contract for the purchase of Guyana’s crude oil (Stabroek News – English). There has been no announcement from Guyana’s government.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Canacol’s gas sales averaged 166MMscfpd. Canacol’s contractual natural gas sales were 166 million standard cubic feet per day for April 2021 (Globe News Wire – English). Canacol’s Nelson 9 development well encountered 52 feet true vertical depth of gas and is expected to be in production by early May 2021.


Ruby’s production will strengthen T&T’s gas supply. The National Gas Company (NGC) said that BHP’s production from the Ruby project will secure the country’s natural gas supply (Loop TT – English). The Ruby field is expected to produce 16,000 gross barrels of oil per day and 80 million gross standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.


Nicaragua’s natural gas plant makes good progress. The gas turbines arrived in the Corinto port for the first natural gas plant in Nicaragua (El Economista – Spanish). Some experts questioned its cost, stability, quality, and export capacity (La Prensa – Spanish).



Electric Power & Renewables


Honduras launched a renewable energy generation tender. The National Electric Energy Company of Honduras launched services for the renewable energy generation systems (Central America Data – Spanish). The deadline for offers is June 24, 2021.


The Dominican Republic’s Environment Ministry said no to power barges. The Environment Ministry denied the request made by Transcontinental Capital Corporation to simultaneously operate the Estrella del Mar II and Estrella del Mar III power barges on the Ozama river (Dominican Today – English) (Diario Libre – Spanish).


The Cayman Islands will use its waste to power up. The waste-to-energy and recycling facilities in the Cayman Islands will be operational by 2024 (Cayman Compass – English). The project is the result of a public private partnership deal between the government and the consortium signed in March.


The Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on a vehicle charger. Edesur Dominicana and InterEnergy Systems installed the first of a series of Evergo charging stations for electric vehicles in the Renacimiento sector of the Santo Domingo city (Dominican Today – English).


The UAE-CREF awarded an EPC contract in Dominica. The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) announced the signing of an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to build a hurricane-resistant clean energy project worth US$50m in Dominica (WAM – English). The project includes a 5MW/2.5MWh battery energy storage system.


AES will multiply its renewable capacity by 165% in three years. In Colombia, the biggest solar park of the country is expected to power up Ecopetrol in the second half of the year (PV Magazine – Spanish). The company continues developing renewable projects in Colombia and Chile for 4,684MW.



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!)



30th La Jolla Energy Virtual Conference will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout May.



Lateral Thinking


Costa Rica pushes fiscal reforms with IDB support. Costa Rica will continue with its structural fiscal reforms program aimed at boosting fiscal management efficiency and equity and promoting sustainable economic recovery with two loans of US$500m approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) (IADB – English).



Quote of the Week


“Every day I use the dialect of lunatic hurricanes. I speak the madness of clashing winds. Every evening I use the patois of furious rains. I speak the fury of waters in flood.”



– Frankétienne (1936), Haitian writer, poet, playwright, painter, musician, activist, and intellectual.




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