The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


May 17, 2020 edition–El Salvador’s LNG; the Dominican Republic’s renewables; and Guyana’s production.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Invenergy and BW LNG secured funding in El Salvador; and Honduras and the IMF reached a technical agreement.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. The BPC expects to extend oil exploration licenses; the Dominican Republic is all about renewables; and Puerto Rico’s governor vetoed measures against a LUMA Energy contract.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Dominica will sign a geothermal project soon; NGC and TRINGEN signed a gas sales agreement; and Belco wants to be a 100% renewable company.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Venezuela only needs US$58bn to produce crude like it’s 1998; ExxonMobil upped Guyana’s oil production target; and Guyana will launch oil rounds.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the rejection of Estrella del Mar III (Dominican Today – English); Jamaica’s oil exploration budget (Jamaica Gleaner – English); and Honduras’ energy tender (Central America Data – Spanish).



Government & NGO


Honduras and the IMF reached a technical agreement. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a technical agreement with Honduras to broaden the US$769m in funds the country can access (El Mundo – Spanish). The reason is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage caused by tropical storms.


The IMF is happy with Barbados’ efforts. Barbados is making good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program (IMF – English). The government expects to reach a primary balance of zero percent of GDP for FY2021/22.


COVID-19 hit Cuba’s sugar harvest. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Cuba’s sugar harvest poised to draw to a close with production standing at little more than two-thirds of planned levels, the smallest crop in more than a century (Reuters – English).


Haiti created a commission to solve the current crisis. About 365 local and regional organizations in Haiti formed a 13-member commission to find solutions to the country’s ongoing sociopolitical crisis (Haitian Times – English) (Gazette Haiti – French).


Jamaica’s remittances remained strong. The World Bank said remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean remained strong, growing at an estimated 6.5%, to US$103bn, in 2020 (Jamaica Gleaner – English). In 2021, remittance flows to the region are expected to grow by 4.9%.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Venezuela only needs US$58bn to produce crude like it’s 1998. The state-owned company needs US$58bn in investment to recover crude production to the levels of 1998, 3.4 million barrels per day (Reuters – English). PDVSA is seeking investment for the planning and engineering division.


Total will drill an additional well in Suriname’s Block 58. Total E&P Suriname will drill an additional appraisal well in Block 58 offshore Suriname (OGJ – English). The extension has an estimated length of 100 days; work is expected to start by the end of May, with an estimated value of US$20m.


Guyana will launch oil rounds. The Caribbean nation will launch bidding rounds for offshore and onshore wells by early 2022 (Argus Media – English). Up until now, exploration and production contracts have been awarded through direct negotiations.


The BPC expects to extend oil exploration licenses. The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) argued it was “our right to extend” the company’s four oil exploration licenses beyond June 2021 (Tribune 242 – English). The company can extend the licenses for another three-year period.


ExxonMobil boosted Guyana’s oil production target. The oil giant increased its 2025 crude oil production goal in Guyana on its fourth deepwater project. Exxon expects to produce 800,000 barrels per day by 2025 (Oil Price – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


A sailor fell at sea from a Cuban tanker. A crew member aboard an oil tanker going to Venezuela was reported missing, the second incident aboard the same vessel in a year (Nasdaq – English). The tanker continued its voyage to Venezuela on May 12.


India may be Guyana’s biggest oil client. India needs new sources of supply, while Guyana’s government needs a reliable and long-term partner for its own equity (OilPrice – English). The prize at stake is five to six Liza cargoes per year, of which at least two have already been taken and moved out.


Jamaica hiked fuel prices. Petrojam increased E-10 87 prices by J$2.21 to sell for J$147.55 per liter, and automotive diesel oil will go up by J$2.08 per liter to sell for J$136.18 (Jamaica Gleaner – English). Ultra-low sulphur diesel will sell for J$143.59 per liter following an increase of J$3.06.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Invenergy and BW LNG secured funding in El Salvador. Invenergy and BW LNG secured a US$128.3m loan from IDB Invest to fund the construction of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a part of the Energía del Pacífico LNG-to-power project in El Salvador (OE Digital – Spanish).


T&T’s Train 1 future is being discussed. Although the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago spent tens of millions of dollars to restart the Train 1 plant, the future of the plant is being discussed by stakeholders (Guardian – English).


NGC and TRINGEN signed a gas sales agreement. The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited signed a Gas Sales Agreement with Trinidad Nitrogen Company Limited (Energy Now – English). The contract re-emphasizes the commitment of both companies to the longevity of the petrochemical industry.


Puerto Rico may get more from LNG. JAX LNG will triple liquefaction and double liquid storage capacity by 2022. The facility is a supplier for TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s dual-fuel container vessels (Jax Daily Record – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


JPS will bet US$34m on power projects. Jamaica Public Service Company secured US$34m in new loans from Scotiabank to finance power projects. JPS plans to convert diesel plants to LNG plants and a 40MW plant at Hunts Bay (Jamaica Gleaner – English).


PR’s governor vetoed measures against the LUMA Energy contract. Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi issued an “express veto” to a House joint resolution that sought to postpone the LUMA Energy LLC contract that comes into effect June 1 (Caribbean Business – English). Pierluisi said the resolution was unconstitutional because it undermines a contractual obligation.


Dominica will sign a geothermal project soon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said a contract for geothermal development is close to being signed (Loop News Caribbean – English). Dominica and the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund announced a deal for a hurricane-resistant clean energy project (PR Newswire – English).


Belco wants to be a 100% renewable company. Belco plans to become a 100% renewable energy company, ensuring Bermuda’s grid is stable and that once renewables do come online, the company can accommodate them (Royal Gazette – English). Work to replace ageing cables is currently under way.


The Dominican Republic is all about renewables. Some 61 companies have signed up to participate in the tender to build two power plants in Manzanillo (Dominican Today – English). AES Dominicana will add 50MW of power to the national energy system (Dominican Today – English).



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


Latin American and Caribbean countries consider using volcanic landscapes. Geothermal plants in Latin America are being considered in the region, expanding the current plants in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile, Costa Rica, and Guadalupe (PRI – English). Current plants produce less than 1% of the region’s energy needs.



Quote of the Week


“Everyone has to make peace with the place where they’re born.”



– Angela Barry, Bermudian writer and educator.




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


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