The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


October 29, 2018 edition–Panamá NG Power looks to Christmas; Haiti protests Petrocaribe; and Cuba likes sickle pod.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Panamá NG Power has a second chance for its 670MW project; Guatemala invests big in energy; and Amnesty International and the IMF are concerned about Nicaragua’s crisis.


Greater Antilles. Cuba will power up with sickle pod; Puerto Rico’s new energy framework may delay renewables; and Haitians demanded PetroCaribe transparency and accountability.


Lesser Antilles. Grenada’s economy will keep growing; Trinity Explorations is making progress on drilling; and Bermuda’s power company strike ended.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. ExxonMobil ordered a subsea system for Liza; GeoPark plans 11 wells in Colombia; and Ecopetrol cleaned up the oil spill from the last bomb attack.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic’s economic growth (English); the US “blessing” of Punta Catalina (English); and the first test run of Punta Catalina’s generator (English).



Political Economy


Amnesty International and the IMF are worried about Nicaragua. Amnesty International said six “possible extrajudicial executions” have taken place in protests in Nicaragua (English). The government of Nicaragua and the International Monetary Fund discussed the current state of the economy, and Nicaragua will not request an economic program to recover growth (Spanish).


The US warned Panama over China. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo warned Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela about business with China. Pompeo warned about the “predatory economic activity” of Chinese enterprises (English).


Cuba’s president will pay a visit to old friends. Miguel Díaz-Canel will visit Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos in November on his first tour abroad (English). Cuban and US relations have worsened, with harsh trade sanctions and travel restrictions (English).


Grenada will keep growing. According to the data for the first half of 2018, Grenada will maintain economic growth for the sixth consecutive year (English). The sectors contributing to the economic growth are construction, tourism, transport, and retail trade.


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Oil & Gas Upstream


Guyana may soon belong to the oil production elite. Some analysts expect Guyana to join the top 10 biggest producers in a decade. The last discovery, Hammerhead, could push the Stabroek block’s resources nearly to 5 billion boe (English), while Tullow is expected to drill the first well on the Orinduik block in 2019.


ExxonMobil ordered a subsea system for Liza. ExxonMobil awarded a contract to TechnipFMC for the engineering of the subsea system (English) for the Liza Phase 2 project on the Stabroek block in Guyana. TechnipFMC will deliver the subsea equipment, including 30 enhanced vertical deepwater trees and associated tooling.


Trinity Exploration is making progress on drilling. Trinity Exploration & Production PLC is progressing on its drilling campaign of the last quarter, averaging production sales volumes at 2,734 barrels of oil per day, a 9% increase from the 2,500 barrels in third quarter 2017 (English).


Colombia’s Fusagasugá rejected hydrocarbon exploration. Despite Colombia’s constitutional court ruling, the municipality of Fusagasugá in central Colombia voted and rejected the extractive projects in their land (English). Out of 104,540 inhabitants, 39,275 voted against exploration (99.49%) and 202 in favor (0.51%).


GeoPark plans 11 wells in Colombia. GeoPark plans seven development wells on Colombia’s Llanos 34 block and three for appraisal (English). GeoPark also plans for developments in Argentina and Brazil.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Haitians demanded PetroCaribe transparency and accountability. Two protesters were reported dead and over 25 were injured calling for the entire government to resign (English). Protesters demanded full transparency and accountability regarding the funds from the PetroCaribe oil sharing agreement with Venezuela, with US$4bn unaccounted.


Ecopetrol cleaned up the oil spill from the last bomb attack. The Colombian state-run oil company cleaned up a crude spill into a waterway after a bomb attack on the Cano Limon pipeline (English). The attack did not affect exports or production at the field operated by Occidental Petroleum.


Exmar’s FLNG barge may be good news for the Caribbean. Exmar’s Caribbean FLNG barge may have found a charter (English), being the second near-shore FLNG project in development after BP’s Tortue project. The vessel was delivered by Wison Offshore & Marine, and is to be used by Pacific Exploration & Production.


A diesel shortage for ships is feared. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has maintained the regulations that require ships to use fuels with lower sulfur from January 2020. Parts of the Caribbean are already operating in emission control areas, subjected to a lower limit of 0.1%, which will not change (English).



Renewables & Electricity


Panamá NG Power has a second chance for its 670MW project. Panamá NG Power has until December 26 to clarify its financial capacity to develop the construction of a 670MW natural gas plant (Spanish). The company has debated the extension throughout the year with the National Authority of Public Services.


Bermuda’s power company strike ended. The Bermuda Electric Light Company’s workers (Belco) were back to work after the strike was called over a stand-off with the company’s management and after a legal warning (English).


Cuba will power up with sickle pod. Cuba imported machinery to process sickle pods to produce power (Spanish). The goal is to generate 60MW from 1,500 tons of biomass by June 2019.


Puerto Rico’s new energy framework may delay renewables. The proposed energy regulatory framework will permit the construction of incinerators and generation plants powered by fossil fuels (English). That alternative could slow the transition to renewable energy.


Guatemala invests big in energy. The government of Guatemala invested more than US$843m in energy, employment, and air connectivity (Spanish). Today, between 65% and 70% of the power produced in the country comes from renewable energy sources, with the goal being 80% in eight years (Spanish).


Old School Social


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


The Renewable Energy Training Course in Photovoltaics and Bio-Energy will be held October 29-November 2 at the Wigton Windfarm Office in Jamaica.


The 3rd Caribbean Finance & Investment Forum is scheduled for November 1 at the Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, Jamaica.


The 10th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum will be held November 7-9 at the JW Marriott Marquis, in Miami, Florida.


The IEEE Concapan 2018 XXXVIII Convención de Centroamérica y Panamá is scheduled for November 7-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in San Salvador, El Salvador.



Lateral Thinking


Canada and CDB will help Dominica build sturdy schools. Dominica plans to build climate-resilient schools and empower communities (English) with the support of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Canada. The government of Canada will provide CAD$8.7m, while the bank and the government of Dominica will provide CAD$396,000 and CAD$694,000, respectively.



Quote of the Week


“No matter how happy I had been in the past I do not long for it. The present is always the moment for which I love.”



– Jamaica Kincaid (1949), Antiguan-American novelist, essayist and gardening writer.



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