The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 26, 2018 edition–DeNovo’s gas; geothermal funding; and T&T and Venezuela’s dual gas supply.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. The IMF is happy with Belize’s, El Salvador’s, and Honduras’ economic performance.


Greater Antilles. The PCJ and JCDC sign MOU for an energy project; and Cuba and the EU strengthened their friendship to reduce the effect of the embargo.


Lesser Antilles. DeNovo supplied gas from the Iguana field in Trinidad and Tobago; Grand Bahama Power will go big on renewables; and geothermal production in Nevis halted due to lack of funding.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia must discuss fracking to obtain new reserves; Pemex has Colombia’s fields in sight; and Trinidad & Tobago is boosting the dual gas supply plan with Venezuela.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in El Salvador’s new renewable projects (Spanish); and Curacao refinery’s bidding probe (English).



Political Economy


The IMF had a crazy week. The IMF said that Suriname’s economy stabilized and will further improve (English). The economies of both Belize and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been recovering (English) (English). The Salvadorian economy grew 2.8% in the first half of 2018 (English) and Honduras is expected to be resilient in the next years (English).


Cuba and the EU strengthened their friendship. The Cuban government reinforced its contacts with the European Union, looking for strategies to reduce the effects of the US embargo (Spanish). Both focused on the importance of economic and social development in Cuba.


Barbados and Suriname partnered up. Barbados and Suriname signed an economic technical cooperation agreement (English). Advertisements for expressions of interest will be published soon.


The Trump administration will add Venezuela to the US state sponsors of terrorism list. The Trump administration is preparing to include Venezuela to the list of state sponsors of terrorism (English). The list is for governments accused of bringing “support for acts of international terrorism,” such as Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.



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Oil & Gas Upstream


Colombia’s president pointed out the need for reserves. Colombian President Ivan Duque said the country must find 2bn barrels of new crude reserves to maintain self-sufficiency. Duque advocated for a “rigorous scientific debate” regarding unconventional resources in Colombia (English).


Pemex has Colombia’s fields in sight. The Mexican state-owned company is studying how to increase operations in Colombia, after Pemex Perforación y Servicios participated in the machine and resources business in the Colombian fields. Pemex plans to diversify its projects by 2021 (Spanish).


Ecopetrol won four blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The Colombian company was awarded four new blocks for hydrocarbons exploration in the Round GOM-Lease Sale 251 (Spanish). The four new exploratory blocks add to the 61 that Ecopetrol has in the Gulf of Mexico.


The new designation for Venezuela may hit oil. The Trump administration plans to list Venezuela as a state that sponsors terrorism, and that could impact US imports of Venezuela crude oil (English). The US imported almost 462,000 b/d of Venezuelan crude in August.



Oil & Gas Downstream


DeNovo supplied gas from the Iguana field. DeNovo delivered the first gas from the Iguana field, off the west coast of Trinidad (English). The goal of the company is to increase the gas supply from marginal gas reserves at a reasonable cost.


Caricom will lift taxes on oil with Petrotrin refinery’s closure. Caricom will remove taxes on imported oil for the region for one year (English) as the Petrotrin refinery on Trinidad & Tobago is closing. The goal is to help Caribbean nations as the refinery closes down.


Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela plan dual gas supply. Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Chevron, and Shell are working on two projects to develop and supply offshore natural gas (English). Trinidad is pressing to finish up the two gas supply contracts, despite the Venezuelan economic crisis.


Colombia’s pipeline was attacked…yet again. Ecopetrol is cleaning a small oil spill after the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline was attacked again. The 770km pipeline has operated for 49 days in 2018 and was not in service at the time of the last attack (English).


St. Croix refinery reached an agreement. Limetree Bay Refining LLC reached an agreement with the supply and trading side of an international oil company to restart the refinery on St. Croix. The unidentified company would supply the refinery and will be an offtake counterparty (English).



Renewables & Electricity


GB Power will bet big on renewables. The Grand Bahama Power Company will invest more than US$18m in renewable energy and smart technology in the next two years (English). The goal is for renewable energy to become 50% of the island’s generation mix (English).


Geothermal production in Nevis hit the brakes. The Nevis Island Administration said the geothermal project is halted due to the continuous search for funding (English). The project needs between US$50 and US$60m to continue and two sources for financing have been identified.


The CDB will focus on Caribbean resilience. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said the energy sector is central to every Caribbean country’s aim to achieve sustainable development. The main focus has been improving the electricity systems (English).


Renewable energy savings should help the Aruban population. The former prime minister of Aruba, Mike Eman, urged the region to trust the shift to renewables (English). Eman said countries should ensure that any savings resulting from the change will help the quality of life of their citizens.


The PCJ and JCDC sign MOU for energy project. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica will undertake a US$31m energy efficiency upgrade (English). The goal is to create more comfortable work environments through the installation of roof technology and more efficient AC units.



Old School Social


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


The 3rd Caribbean Infrastructure Forum is scheduled for December 4-5 at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.


Cuba Energy Oil and Gas will be held December 4-7 at the Melia Cohiba Hotel in Havana, Cuba.



Lateral Thinking


Egg-smelling seaweed swamped the Caribbean. Huge tides of sargassum that smells like rotten eggs invaded beaches from Belize to Barbados, affecting marine life in the region (English). Sargassum has arrived in the Caribbean in high amounts since 2011.



Quote of the Week


“The truth always arrives too late because it walks slower than lies. Truth crawls at a snail’s pace.”



– Maryse Conde (1937), Guadeloupean author of historical fiction.



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