The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 15, 2021 edition–El Salvador’s FSRU; Touchstone’s oil; and Panamá’s wind.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Wärtsilä’s FSRU is up and running in El Salvador; Nicaragua’s gas-to-power project got the okay; and Panamá will evaluate Pure New Energy’s wind project.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Jamaica’s LNG investment was questioned; and Sonnedix is out of Puerto Rico, Infinigen is in.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Touchstone found black gold; Trinidad & Tobago defends natural gas as clean energy; and Dominica signed an MoU for green hydrogen supply.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Suriname started a 3D seismic survey; Exxon considers a fourth unit; and Canacol is ready to offer the Medellín pipeline project.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Rowley’s meeting with Shell (Energy Now – English); the Panama Canal’s LNG cargoes (Natural Gas Intel – English); and Colombia’s natural gas demand (Valora Analitik – Spanish).



Government & NGO


Biden will sanction Nicaragua’s government. President Joe Biden proposed more sanctions against President Daniel Ortega, who extended his government with false elections (El Economista – Spanish). The government detained opposition leaders, including presidential candidates, guaranteeing a win in the election.


Venezuela and Russia will help out African nations’ energy. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister said Moscow and Caracas can cooperate in developing the energy partnership with African nations (TASS- English). He offered legal support to them so that they can build up their commercial and trade relations for exploration and production to develop their energy resources.


The US asked citizens to leave Haiti. The US urged its citizens to leave the Caribbean nation because of the country’s deepening insecurity and a severe lack of fuel that has affected hospitals, schools, and banks (AP News – English). Gas stations remained closed on November 11.


Jamaica asked businesses to go green. Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Audley Shaw announced the increase of its renewable energy target by 2050 from 30% to 50%, and encouraged local operators to transform into sustainable and profitable businesses (Jamaica Gleaner – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Suriname started a 3D seismic survey. A consortium of marine seismic data firms has started a 3D seismic survey offshore Suriname. This 3D survey is adjacent to the prolific Block 58, where TotalEnergies and Apache have recently made several oil discoveries (OE Digital – English).


Guyana will launch auctions for oil blocks in 2022. Guyana will begin auctioning offshore oil blocks in the third quarter of 2022. In preparing for the auction, the government will determine whether companies with existing contracts should be excluded from the tenders (Argus Media – English).


Exxon considers a fourth unit for Guyana. ExxonMobil is discussing the construction of a fourth multibillion-dollar production unit to develop its Guyana oil discoveries (Reuters – English) with SBM Offshore NV. The talks include the potential for some future platform assembly in Guyana.


PDVSA cut its production goal for 2021. The state-owned company reduced its daily production target to 1 million barrels from a 1.5-million-barrel goal announced in January (Bloomberg – English). In the Orinoco River basin, PDVSA lowered its goal to 650,000 barrels from almost 1 million previously.


Touchstone found black gold. Touchstone Exploration announced the results of the first of three planned production tests at the Royston-1 exploration well, which has confirmed a light oil discovery in the lowermost section of the well (Energy Now – English). The Royston-1 exploration well was spud on August 12, 2021 and was drilled to a total depth of 10,700 feet.


Ecopetrol will bet on gas exploration. The head of Hocol, Ecopetrol’s gas operator, said exploration activities will increase in 2022 with an investment of US$128m, 40% more than in 2021 (Portafolio – Spanish). Hocol will drill 13 exploratory wells, 8 to locate natural gas.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Colombia’s oil theft went up. The Caribbean nation’s pipelines are being robbed by criminal gangs, replacing supplies of smuggled Venezuelan gasoline for use in the drug trade (Reuters – English). Gasoline is a key component in making cocaine, but there have been shortages of the fuel in Venezuela.


Colombia will need LPG to diversify the sector. The Mines and Energy Minister said LPG will be key in the energy transition process (Valora Analitik – Spanish). The LPG sector grew 5% in 2020 and has grown more than 5% in 2021.


Frontera reached a settlement agreement with Cenit and Bicentenario. The conciliation agreement between Frontera, CENIT, and Bicentenario was announced, ending the disputes between the parties related to the Bicentenario Pipeline and the Caño Limón–Coveñas Pipeline (PRNewswire – English). The new CLC and BIC Pipeline contracts will be approximately 2,770 bbls/day for a term of up to five years.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Wärtsilä’s FSRU is up and running in El Salvador. Wärtsilä announced the installation and successful operation of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) (LNG Industry – English). The project will provide fuel for 30% of the country’s power demand (Diesel Gas Turbine – English).


Nicaragua’s gas to power project got the okay. The Central American power interconnection commission approved NFE Nicaragua Development Partners’ request to connect a 300MW Central Puerto Sandino gas-to-power project to the regional transmission network (BN Americas – English).


Jamaica’s LNG investment is questioned. Former Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says the role of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is called into question as customers of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) are still waiting to benefit in a meaningful way from lower costs associated with the establishment of liquefied natural gas (Jamaica Gleaner – English).


Canacol is ready to offer the Medellín pipeline project. The natural gas producer plans to award a construction contract for the Jobo-Medellín pipeline early in 2022 (BN Americas – English). The 300km pipeline will begin operations by December 2024, transporting 100Mf3/d.


Trinidad & Tobago defends natural gas as clean energy. Trinidad & Tobago plans to hold on to producing natural gas for as long as it can and defended natural gas at the COP26 summit as a clean energy source (Newsday – English). The Caribbean nation’s Prime Minister said it will take quite some time for enough energy to come from wind, water, and solar energy.



Electric Power & Renewables


Panamá will evaluate Pure New Energy’s wind project. The Central American nation’s environment ministry will evaluate a 60MW wind project’s environmental impact in Coclé province (BN Americas – English). The construction of the US$3m substation and associated works would take 18 months.


Dominica signed an MoU for green hydrogen supply. The Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kenesjay Green Limited (KGL) to identify options for Dominica to harness its approximately 2GW of geo-thermal energy (Energy Now – English). This will support its transition to a low carbon economy.


Canadian Solar will sign in Colombia. The company was awarded power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 796.3 MW of solar projects (Renewables Now – English) (PV Magazine – Spanish). The company will build the Caracoli solar farm in the Atlántico department, northern Colombia.


Sonnedix is out of Puerto Rico, Infinigen is in. Sonnedix sold its share in “Puerto Rico Operations” to Infinigen of ArcLight (PV Magazine – Spanish). The transaction includes two solar plants working in Oriana and Horizon providing 73.2MW.


El Salvador will offer a tender for 115MW. The Central American nation launched the rules for the bidding for long-term contracts to supply 115MW. The auction will be divided in two blocks that will be launched January 1, 2022 (PV Magazine – 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


Renewables will power a charity and a library. Aeolus Capital Management and solar energy firm BE Solar will power WindReach, an outdoor center for the disabled in Warwick, Bermuda (Royal Gazette – English). BMR Energy donated a state-of-the-art solar system that has been installed at the Malvern Branch Library in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica (JIS – English).



Quote of the Week


“When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.”



Augusto Monterroso (1921-2003), Honduran writer who adopted Guatemalan nationality.



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


Tell your friends and colleagues about the Weekly Brief! They can sign up for a free one-month trial here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]