The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 18, 2019 edition– Apache’s Maka; St Vincent’s geothermal; and BHP’s northern T&T licenses.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. The IMF is ecstatic about El Salvador’s progress; and expects a good response from Honduras.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Shell will allow an IPO for its LNG terminal; AES Dominicana gave the DR a solar sunflower; and Dorian cost GB Power US$23m.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Maersk and Shell will work offshore T&T; St Vincent is all about geothermal power; and BHP has great expectations for its northern T&T licenses.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Apache has high hopes for Maka in Suriname; F-F will lend PDVSA’s refineries a hand; and bad news for Tullow’s Guyana fields.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the St. Croix refinery’s restart (English); AES’ opinion on a natural gas terminal (English); and Barbados’ and Trinidad’s gas exploration agreement (English).


Political Economy


The IMF is ecstatic about El Salvador’s progress… El Salvador’s economy has grown 2.2% in the first half of 2020 and is expected to be 2.5% for the year with authorities fighting crime and corruption. Under current policies, the IMF expects economic growth to reach the country’s estimated potential (English) (Spanish).


…and expects a good response from Honduras. Honduras’ economic growth has moderated, but is expected to pick up next year (English). The IMF said authorities are pursuing prudent macroeconomic policies thanks to the Fiscal Responsibility Law.


The CDB and CARICOM are strengthening their friendship. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration on projects and programs (English). They will work together to ease the integration and the expansion of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).


ECLAC lowered its economic outlook for the Caribbean. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) downgraded its 2019 growth forecast in the region to 0.1% (English) (Spanish). In 2020, the region is expected to grow at 1.4%.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Apache has high hopes for Maka in Suriname. Apache expects the Maka Central #1 exploration well offshore Suriname to reach TD this month at 6,325m (English). The well, drilled by the Noble Sam Croft drillship, is designed to test multiple targets. Apache will use the rig for two additional wells.


Ecopetrol bought a 21.43% share of a Gulf of Mexico block from Chevron. The state-owned company reached an agreement with Chevron Texaco to buy a 21.43% share of the Mississippi Canyon Block 726 oil field in US waters in the Gulf of Mexico (English), with Hess keeping its majority 57.14% share.


An ExxonMobil affiliate offered contracts for the Prosperity FPSO in Guyana. An affiliate of ExxonMobil let a contract for the Payara development offshore Guyana to SBM Offshore. The company will construct, install, lease, and operate the Prosperity floating production, storage, and offloading vessel for two years (English).


BHP has great expectations for its northern T&T licenses. BHP plans a Final Investment Decision (FID) on their Trinidad & Tobago northern area deepwater gas development by 2022, with first gas projected for 2026, after the approval of the project (English).


Tullow got bad news from its Guyana fields. Tullow Oil explained that its oil finds offshore Guyana may not be as commercially viable as first thought due to the toughness to produce the oil, which is low-value, heavy crude (English). Tullow Oil’s commercial shares went down by more than 25%.


Maersk and Shell will work offshore T&T. Maersk and BG international, a Shell subsidiary, signed a contract for work offshore Trinidad & Tobago on a two-well development project. The contract has an estimated duration of 171 days and may commence in the first quarter of 2020 (English).



Oil & Gas Downstream


Venezuela is selling cut-price oil under US sanctions. Due to the effect of US sanctions, the Caribbean country is being forced into selling cut-price oil, biting into Venezuela’s most important source of revenue (English). As oil represents 90% of Venezuela’s legal exports, Maduro’s survival as president depends on it.


F-F will lend PDVSA’s refineries a hand. PDVSA signed a five-year deal with Flash Forge Private Limited (F-F) to restore crude oil production and repair refineries in Venezuela (English). The Indian company will be in charge of restoring “gas compression plants, water- and gas-injection plants” and “extra-heavy crude treatment processes.”


Shell will allow an IPO for its LNG terminal. Shell North America said it is willing to allow Bahamian ownership in its New Providence power plant project through the largest-ever public share offering in the Bahamas (English). The offering will include the LNG terminal and the associated infrastructure supplying fuel to the new plant at Clifton Pier.



Renewables & Electricity


St Vincent is all about geothermal power. Two geothermal exploration wells have been drilled in St Vincent, and the second phase of drilling at Bamboo Range has offered positive results. The second drilling took 83 days to complete and the well temperature proved suitable for geothermal power generation (English).


The Dominican Republic regulators are getting ready for clean power. The Dominican Republic has implemented several regulatory changes and opened a request for wind and solar projects to revitalize investment in the clean energy sector. The Caribbean nation has 4,341MW of installed capacity, of which 20-22% comes from renewables (English).


Dorian cost GB Power US$23m. The Grand Bahama Power Company has to pay a US$12m repair bill to restore its transmission and distribution system after Hurricane Dorian (English). On top of that, GP Power will have to cover the US$5m insurance policy deductible for the Peel Street generation plant and the US$6m lost in earnings.


AES Dominicana brought home a solar sunflower. The foundation of AES Dominicana donated the first smart sunflower in the Caribbean nation and region (English) to the Juan Bosch City Renewable Energy Theme Park. The sunflower has the capacity to generate 4,550 Kwh per year.



Old School Social


Events in the world beyond your screen—go see and be seen!


Expo Oil and Gas Colombia 2019 will be held November 23-26 at Corferias – Centro de Convenciones in Bogotá, Colombia.


S&P Global Platts 20th Annual Caribbean Energy Conference is scheduled for January 29-31 at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, in Puerto Rico. The leading energy conference in the Caribbean gathers global professionals to discuss regional trends, including power finance and investment, fuel options, IMO, microgrids, infrastructure, natural gas, and much more.



Lateral Thinking


Guadeloupe and Martinique have a pesticide pollution problem. Chlordecone, a chemical known to cause cancer, was used for 20 years on banana plantations, and almost all local residents have the chemical in their blood (English). The authorities are trying to keep the chemical out of the food chain.



Quote of the Week


“Life is not what one lived, but rather what one remembers, and how it is remembered to tell the tale.”



– Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), Colombian novelist and journalist and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.




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