The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


October 25, 2021 edition–Staatsolie’s contracts; Trinidad & Tobago’s gas finds; and Central America’s gas pipeline.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America.

A natural gas pipeline may connect Mexico with Central America; and Guatemala expects higher fuel prices.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Puerto Rico is concerned with its failing electric grid; Cuba turns to China’s Belt and Road Initiative; and Energía 2000’s gas to power project got the okay.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. BHP received good news from the Calypso well; St. Lucia wants to turn green; and Manatee got the green light.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Staatsolie had a busy week with Suriname’s oil; Matrix Renewables secures financing for Colombia’s 82MW solar portfolio; and ELN guerrillas attacked Colombia’s oil pipeline.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Heritage’s opinion of Trinidad & Tobago’s budget (News Day – English); and Costa Rica’s distributed generation law (PV Magazine – Spanish).



Government & NGO


Jamaica and the US are still friends. Jamaica’s ambassador to the US says the Caribbean nation’s relationship with the US remains strong and Jamaica continues to value its partnership with the US (JIS – English).


Cuba turns to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Cuba signed an energy cooperation pact with China to strengthen relations and to invite Chinese companies to upgrade Cuba’s energy sector (The Times – English). The project financing will be backed by the Chinese government.


Colombian public services saved the day. Public services companies in Colombia contributed with at least 6.5% of the GDP and provided 500,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country (La República – Spanish).


Dominican industries suffer high freight costs. The president of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic said freight rates have increased between 500% and 600% due to the pandemic (Dominican Today – English). Industries and the retail sector must devote more time and resources to place containers in Dominican ports.


Canadian business leaders have the Dominican Republic in sight. Canadian business leaders in the trade, development, investment, industry, tourism, and cooperation for environmental sanitation projects areas met with Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez. Álvarez explained the Dominican Republic has an excellent investment climate, reinforced by the efforts to fight corruption and impunity (Dominican Today – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Staatsolie had a busy week with Suriname’s oil. Staatsolie signed a contract with Chevron for the exploration, development, and production for Block 5, offshore Suriname for 30-year production (OGJ – English). Staatsolie let a contract to a consortium of CGG, TGS, and BGP Offshore to acquire, promote, and license multi-client seismic programs (OGJ – English).


Manatee got the green light. Energy Minister Stuart Young announced the permission to go ahead with the Manatee contract, allowing Trinidad & Tobago to access natural gas reserves (News Day – English). The government negotiated a product-sharing contract (PSC) (Argus Media – English).


BHP received good news from the Calypso well. BHP confirmed that the Calypso appraisal well, Bongos-3, encountered hydrocarbons (Energy Now – English). BHP said that a side track (Bongos 3X) is also being drilled to complete the appraisal.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Petrojam wants to leave oil prices behind. The head of Petrojam, Winston Watson, warned Jamaicans that the increase in global oil prices may push Jamaicans to start conserving (Jamaica Observer – English). Watson hopes oil prices will decrease soon.


Guatemala expects higher fuel prices. The Energy and Mines Minister explained the increase in fuel prices is due to international market prices and the start of the winter season in oil distribution countries (Prensa Libre – Spanish). Guatemalans will pay Q30.99 for premium gasoline and Q30.29 for regular (Prensa Libre – Spanish).


An Iranian tanker is carrying Venezuelan oil. An Iranian supertanker set sail from Venezuela carrying 2 million barrels of PDVSA’s heavy crude (Reuters – English). The shipment is part of a deal between PDVSA and the National Iranian Oil Company to exchange Iranian condensate for Venezuela’s Merey crude.


ELN guerrillas attacked Colombia’s oil pipeline. Guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia claimed responsibility for an attack against a pipeline transporting crude to the Barrancabermeja refinery (Reuters – English). The attack caused an oil spill that affected surrounding vegetation and soil.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


A natural gas pipeline may connect Mexico with Central America. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is boosting a development plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras that includes a natural gas pipeline from Mexico to supply the three countries (La Tribuna – Spanish). The project would cost US$1.6bn and the construction would last eight years.


Energía 2000’s gas to power project got the okay. The Dominican Republic’s power regulator, SIE, accepted Energía 2000’s request to modify the legal technical report for the Manzanillo Power Land natural gas to power project (BN Americas – English). The project includes a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), a monobuoy, a substation, and a transmission line.


Colombia has new rules for gas thermoelectric plants. The power sector regulator Creg published new guidelines for gas-fired thermoelectric plants in auctions for firm energy obligations (BN Americas – English). Plant operators must provide proof of fuel supply and transport contracts for charge periods “in sufficient amounts to support the OEFs assigned to it.”



Electric Power & Renewables


Matrix Renewables secured financing for its 82MW solar portfolio. Matrix Renewables signed a long-term financing agreement for its 82MW Los Llanos solar portfolio in Colombia (Renewables Now – English) (PV Magazine – Spanish). The financing was signed with Bancolombia and the Inter-American Development Bank.


The Dominican Republic signed seven renewable energy contracts. The Energy and Mines Minister signed seven contracts for renewable energy projects, and national and foreign companies will contribute 420MW to the system (Dominican Today – English). Investments devoted to these projects will be more than US$485m.


Companies prequalified for Colombia’s third renewables auction. A list of 61 companies have prequalified to participate in the Caribbean nation’s third renewable energy auction on October 26 (Renewables Now – English) (PV Magazine – Spanish). The group includes 44 off-takers and 17 power sellers representing 29 renewable energy projects.


St. Lucia wants to turn green. Public Utilities Minister Stephenson King met with stakeholders and agencies to discuss renewable energy for St. Lucia (Loop News – English). The minister assured those systematic interactions can only benefit both the corporate entity and the Saint Lucian public.


Puerto Rico is concerned with its failing electric grid. US lawmakers asked the head of LUMA Energy to explain the outages that have occurred since the company took over operations from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (New Energy Events – English). Puerto Ricans are considering solar power as an alternative to LUMA’s troubles (The Guardian – 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 Renewable Energy Forum is scheduled for October 27-28.



Lateral Thinking


Costa Rica’s Auto Deli will be powered by the sun. In November, food prepared in Auto Deli will be done with solar power, thanks to a micro grid of 237kWp, 490 solar panels, and 240kWh batteries (PV Magazine – Spanish). Solar power will cover 27% of the power needed by the plant.



Quote of the Week


“To know a man properly, you must know the shape of his hurt – the specific wound around which his person has been formed like a scab.”



– Kei Miller (1978), Jamaican poet, fiction writer, essayist and blogger.



We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or sun-powered food recommendations to


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