The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 23, 2020 edition–Haiti’s lack of fuel; Colombia’s oil blocks; and the Dominican Republic’s grid. 


Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America.

El Salvador was hit by a drop in exports; and Guatemala followed the IMF’s e-GDDS.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. The Dominican Republic will work on its grid; BPC offered to pay double the required royalties; and Haiti is also running low on fuel.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Barbados will bet on electric buses and renewables.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Geopark got good news in the CPO-5 block; Exxon made a non-commercial discovery in Guyana; and Venezuela’s output keeps falling.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Jamaica’s renewables (The St.Kitts Nevis Observer – English); Cuba’s reaction to the US elections (Argus Media – English); and Colombia’s fracking (Oil and Gas 360 – English).



Government & NGO


The IDB will boost the Dominican Republic’s sustainable and inclusive development. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) identified three challenges that the country must address in order to reach greater inclusion and economic and social well-being: human capital, institutional capacity, and productive transformation (IADB – English).


Guatemala followed the IMF’s e-GDDS. Guatemala implemented the International Monetary Fund’s recommendations for the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) by publishing data through the National Summary Data Page (IMF – English). The goal was to improve data transparency and encourage statistical development.


Suriname wants to postpone payments. The Caribbean nation’s government asked creditors for a payment deferral on its two bonds, which amounts to US$675m (Reuters – English). Analysts said this could be a prelude to a broader debt restructuring.


Jamaica suffered an 11.3% economic contraction. The Planning Institute of Jamaica said the Caribbean nation suffered an 11.3% economic decline in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year (CBC – English). The reason was the effect of COVID-19, lower output from the mining and quarrying industry, and weakened business and consumer confidence.


El Salvador was hit by a drop in exports. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), El Salvador was the Latin American country second-most affected by the fall in exports in the first six months of 2020 (after Venezuela) (El Mundo – Spanish).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Geopark got good news in the CPO-5 block. GeoPark Limited announced the testing of the Indico 2 appraisal well in the CPO-5 block in Colombia (Oil and Gas 360 – English). The Indico 2 well was drilled approximately 0.8 km northwest of the Indico 1X well.


Exxon made a non-commercial discovery in Guyana. The company said the Tanager-1 discovered hydrocarbons, but the initial analysis indicates it does not appear economic (Energy Voice – English). ExxonMobil remains committed to exploration at the Kaieteur Block. The well also found reservoirs in the deeper Santonian and Turonian layers.


CNE Oil & Gas and Pare will work in four Colombian oil blocks. The National Agency of Hydrocarbons (ANH) announced that Colombia will sign contracts with two Canadian companies to exploit four on-land blocks (El Economista – Spanish). Offers have an estimated value of US$40m in total.


BPC offered to pay double the required royalties. The head of the Bahamas Petroleum Company said the company will pay double the royalties that the law provides for to the government if its plans are successful (Tribune 242 – English). Activists will launch a legal challenge to the company’s plans in 14 days (Tribune 242 – English).


Suriname offered eight offshore blocks. Staatsolie said the eight new offshore blocks are located west of the Shallow Offshore area (Offshore Energy – English). The bid round officially opened on November 16, and the bids are due by April 30, 2021.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Venezuela’s crude output keeps falling. According to OPEC’s report, Venezuela’s oil output in October reached 367,000 barrels per day, a 25,000 bpd drop compared to the previous month (Venezuela Analysis – English). PDVSA’s reported data showed an increase to 473,000 barrels per day from 397,000 bpd in September.


India is interested in Guyana’s oil. According to India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, the Indian government is considering purchasing oil from Guyana at market value (Buzz-Caribbean – English). India’s primary source for oil is the Gulf region, and, until recently, Venezuela.


Venezuelans are stealing PDVSA crude to make gasoline… Affected by shortages for months, Venezuelans began stealing crude from the state-owned company’s fields and distilling homemade gasoline (Reuters – English). The amount of crude stolen is a tiny fraction of Venezuela’s output.


…and Haiti is also running low on fuel. The Haitian government’s fuel supplier, Preble-Rish, is lashing out in the middle of a contract dispute over price involving recent fuel deliveries (Miami Herald – English). Meanwhile, Haitians face a scarcity of US dollars on the market, fuel shortages, and power blackouts.


Ecopetrol and Frontera agreed on fuel transportation. Ecopetrol and Bicentenario de Colombia pipeline reached an agreement with Frontera Energy Corporation, solving all the controversies related to the Bicentenario and Caño Limón – Coveñas pipelines (Valora Analitik – Spanish). All Frontera subsidiaries will be included in the agreement.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Canacol sold more natural gas. Canacol Energy announced that contractual natural gas sales volumes increased 11% and 33% to 163MMscfpd and 172.2MMscfpd for the three- and nine-month period to the end of September, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2019 (Global News Wire – English).


CESPM converted an oil-fired plant to natural gas. The Dominican Republic’s independent power producer converted its 300MW San Pedro de Macoris (Argus Media – English) to natural gas. The conversion was facilitated by the new 50km Eastern gas pipeline from AES’ Boca Chica LNG regasification plant in Punta Caucedo.


Hoegh LNG will supply an FSRU for India. The Bermuda-based LNG vessel owner entered a binding commitment to supply a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to India (Natural Gas World – English).



Electric Power & Renewables


The Dominican Republic will work on its grid. The unified board of Edeeste, Edesur, and Edenorte plans to expand the power grid infrastructure and modernize it with an investment of US$1.7bn over 13 years (Diario Libre – Spanish). The Dominican Republic has a financing offer from the Inter-American Development Bank for US$155m.


Barbados will bet on electric buses and renewables. Barbados remains on track to fully achieve its National Energy Policy 2019-2030, including the use of 100% renewable energy (Barbados Today – English). As part of a US$30m loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Barbados will count on more electric buses in the upcoming months (Stabroek News – English).


Colombia’s renewables supplied 77.4% of the country’s power… Colombia produced 77.39% of its power from renewable energy sources, including large hydro-power plants, in October (Renewables Now – English). Cleaner energy plants increased their output by 0.81% month-on-month to 152.99GWh per day on average.


…and Colombia will ask about a solar project. The Mines and Energy Ministry approved a resolution declaring the 300MW solar project Parque Solar Puerta de Oro and the needed land for its construction and protection (PV Magazine – Spanish) to be of social interest. The resolution will be open for consultations through November 30.



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 Island Energy Transformation Training Series is scheduled for December 8.


The Island Resiliency Action Challenge will be held December 17.



Lateral Thinking


CARICOM focuses on electric vehicles (EVs) in Energy Month. One of the activities of CARICOM Energy Month would include the “Take a Drive” Virtual Electric Vehicle Roadshow to allow participants to virtually experience EVs and discuss the operation, maintenance, costs, and types of vehicles (Loop News Barbados – English) available in the Caribbean.



Quote of the Week


“Their hearts began to swell with the pity that one feels for a fellow being who has lost both his way and his sense of purpose.”



– Caryl Phillips (1958) Kittitian-British novelist.


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