The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 8, 2021 edition–Costa Rica’s distribution law; Suriname’s oil; and Bermuda’s wind.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica okayed the distributed generation law; Honduras’ malls will be solar powered; and Costa Rica’s presidential candidates debate oil and gas exploration.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Wartsila will help the Bahamas with a storage system; and fuel shortages continue in Haiti.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Curacao is looking again for a refinery suitor; Dominica became more resilient; and Bermuda identified two possible wind farm sites.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. APA will bet on Suriname’s oil in 2022; Venezuela’s oil exports picked up the pace; and ExxonMobil drilled a dry hole on Canje block.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Colombia’s LNG Pacific auction (Portafolio – Spanish); Guyana’s gas pipeline (World Oil – English); and Colombia’s natural gas use (La República – Spanish).



Government & NGO


Venezuelan elections will not change US oil sanctions. Despite the November 21 elections, easing of US oil sanctions against Venezuela remains off the table (Platts – English). The elections could bring a chance to restart crude-for-diesel swaps.


Colombia’s peso went down as oil prices drop. After oil prices plummeted, Colombia’s peso fell 1% against the dollar. Colombia’s central bank said the country’s risk premium will rise this year, next to above its average for the last 15 years (Reuters – English).


Trinidad & Tobago can offer a lot to investors. Aside from oil and gas, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) head said the Caribbean nation has much to offer potential investors (Newsday – English). He identified business process outsourcing, manufacturing/renewable energy, and hotel development amongst the sectors where investment opportunities exist.


Dominica became more resilient. The IMF worked with Dominica to understand the probability and intensity of natural disasters, as well as the costs and benefits of building to new standards (IMF – English). The government launched on a path to become the world’s first nation resilient to hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.


The IMF expects a strong recovery in St. Kitts and Nevis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a rebound in tourism will offer a strong recovery from 2022 onward for the Caribbean islands (IMF – English). The IMF staff projects a small further decline in GDP of 1% in 2021, followed by 10% growth in 2022.



Oil & Gas Upstream


ExxonMobil drilled a dry hole on Canje block. ExxonMobil drilled a dry hole in the Sapote-1 well on Canje block, offshore Guyana (OGJ – English). The well is in the southeastern section of Canje. The Liza Unity floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel arrived in Guyana ahead of schedule (Energy Now – English).


Colombia’s gas production went up in September. Commercialized gas production in Colombia reached 1,082 million cubic feet per day (mcfd) in September 2021, a 2% increase compared to last August (1,061 mpcpd) and a 1.1% recovery compared to September 2020 (BN Americas – English).


Guyana will bid new offshore oil blocks in 2022. Guyana plans to auction new blocks for offshore oil exploration by the third quarter of 2022 (OE Digital – English). Acreage the government has received back from companies that failed to find reserves or did not continue their exploration programs will be included in the auction.


Costa Rica’s presidential candidates debate oil and gas exploration. Costa Rica’s presidential candidates are divided on the future of oil and gas exploration (La República – Spanish). The Central American nation is considering the use of electric vehicles too.


Costa Rica and 24 others rose against oil exploration’s public finance. At the COP26 U.N. climate talks, Costa Rica and 24 other countries, banks, and national groupings pledged to end public financing of new fossil fuel exploration and production overseas by the end of 2022 (Reuters – English).


APA will bet on Suriname’s oil in 2022. According to APA’s CFO, most of the company’s exploration and appraisal investment will be directed toward Suriname in 2022. Between January and September of 2021, upstream investment for APA in Suriname totaled US$92m (BN Americas – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


ELN’s pipeline attacks may threaten the elections. ELN claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil pipelines in Colombia’s Santander department ahead of the country’s elections (Insight Crime – English). The government has offered a reward for information on who was behind the attacks.


Venezuela’s oil exports picked up the pace. The Caribbean nation’s oil exports surpassed 700,000 barrels per day as supplies of imported diluents increased production and shipments (Reuters – English). Venezuela’s state-owned PdV has partially restarted the 190,000 b/d PetroCedeño upgrader.


Curacao is looking again for a refinery suitor. After talks with the Corc consortium collapsed, the Caribbean nation’s refinery owner Rdk restarted its search for a refinery operator (Argus Media – English).


Fuel shortages continue in Haiti. Gangs are blocking fuel shipments and now cellphone towers and hospitals are running out of gas. Even organizations providing health services in rural areas have had to cut down on hours and are attending fewer patients (NPR – English).



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


LNG cargoes are crossing Panama non-stop. The Panama Canal Authority said a record amount of tonnage passed through the canal during 2021, a milestone caused by LNG cargoes (Natural Gas Intel – English). LNG carriers registered a 31.4% increase in tonnage through the Panama Canal.


Colombia’s natural gas demand is up. According to the Colombian market, natural gas clients asked for 938 Gbtu per day, 2.2% more than in the previous week (Valora Analitik – Spanish). Refineries demanded 3.4% less natural gas.



Electric Power & Renewables


Wartsila will help the Bahamas with a storage system. The Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) awarded the Finish technology group a contract to supply a 25MW/27MWh energy storage system to the Caribbean islands (Renewables Now – English). Storage will work in combination with a 132MW engine power plant.


Solarpack won in a Colombian auction. The Spanish company was awarded power purchase agreements (PPAs) for two solar projects totaling 252MWp in Colombia’s renewables auction (Renewables Now – English). Solarpack is one of nine power producers that won 15-year PPAs in Colombia.


Costa Rica okayed the distributed generation law. In the second debate, Costa Rica approved the “law to promote and regulate distributed energy resources with renewable sources” (PV Magazine – Spanish). The Costa Rican Association of Energy Generators celebrated the approval but pointed to other important projects that are still in process (PV Magazine – Spanish).


Honduras’ malls will be solar-powered. Enertiva finished working on the third phase of solar plants of Lady Lee Corporation in the Central American nation (PV Magazine – Spanish). The installation will power up the City Mall San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.


Colombia will cut the ribbon on seven renewable plants. In the upcoming months, the country will open seven renewable energy plants amounting to 1,000MW of installed capacity (Portafolio – Spanish). The projects are three wind parks, three solar plants, and one natural gas thermal plant.


Bermuda identified two possible wind farm sites. The Regulatory Authority’s report identified two locations as possible sites for an offshore wind farm. The authority acknowledged the practical and commercial hurdles “would make any offshore wind development particularly challenging” (Royal Gazette – 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!)



The Caribbean ESG & Climate Financing Summit is scheduled for November 17-18.


The Hydrogen Training Series for Latin America & the Caribbean will be held November 23.



Lateral Thinking


Trinidad & Tobago discussed its energy future with Shell and BP. Prime Minister Dr the Hon Keith Rowley met with Shell’s senior executives and BP executives to discuss projects and potential collaboration opportunities aimed at furthering the Caribbean nation’s renewable energy and transition goals (Energy Now – English) (Energy Now – English).



Quote of the Week


“Mourning suits us Spanish women.

Tragedy turns us into Antigone – maybe

we are bred for the part.”



– Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952-2016), American author born in Puerto Rico.



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


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