The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


September 13, 2021 edition–Guyana’s oil discoveries; Atlantic LNG’s negotiation; and the Dominican Republic’s renewables.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. MPC Energy Solutions chose an EPC for El Salvador’s solar; Costa Rica may boost LPG use; and the CRIE okayed Honduras’ hydropower project.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. The Dominican Republic wants to simplify investing in renewables; the USDA awarded US$537,363 for 11 Puerto Rican projects; and Punta Catalina cannot turn to natural gas.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. BP commits to Trinidad & Tobago’s business; and Trinidad and Atlantic LNG are negotiating.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Hess found black gold in Guyana;

Suriname requests expressions of interest for shore bases; and Canacol will build a natural gas pipeline in Colombia.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic and KOGAS’ dialogue (BN Americas – English); NG Energy’s production (Benzinga – English); and Inpex’s Venezuelan sale (Reuters – English).



Government & NGO


Mexico and the Dominican Republic’s trade is skyrocketing. Trade between Mexico and the Dominican Republic amounted to US$5.5 billion in the last five years (Dominican Today – English). Mexico is the third supplier and fourth trading partner for goods from the Dominican Republic.


El Salvador suffered its first day with bitcoin. Angry protests, technological glitches, and a dip in the cryptocurrency clouded the first day of bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador. Opinion polls showed Salvadorans are skeptical about using bitcoin, fearing its volatility and unsure of how it will work (Reuters – English).


Venezuelan negotiations continue in Mexico. Venezuelan government and opposition representatives agreed to a roadmap to tackle the long-running crisis, including economic and social measures with special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Reuters – English).


Venezuela’s government and opposition agreed to fight Guyana. Both Venezuela’s government and opposition representatives agreed to ratify Venezuela’s rights over Guayana Esequiva (Platts – English). Guyana criticized both groups for rejecting the International Court of Justice’s role in settling the border dispute over the region (Platts – English).


Costa Rica, Panamá, and the Dominican Republic will work together. The three Caribbean nations will work to discuss and boost programs in different areas, including sustainable development and the reactivation of their economies (Acento – Spanish). The goal is to promote cooperation and a political dialogue between the three countries.



Oil & Gas Upstream


BP commits to Trinidad & Tobago’s business. Dev Sanyal, the executive vice president of Gas and Low Carbon Energy, assured BP’s commitment to the delivery of two major gas developments that are critical to both Trinidad & Tobago and BP’s near-term production (Energy Now – English).


ExxonMobil requested information for Quayside and Laydown Area companies. The oil giant wants to identify companies that can provide a Quayside and Laydown Area on the west bank of the Demerara River to support project needs starting in 2022 (Energy Now – English). The request for information is due September 16.


Hess found black gold in Guyana. Hess Corporation made another oil discovery at Pinktail, offshore Guyana. The Pinktail well encountered 220 feet (67 meters) of net pay in a high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir (Energy Now – English) located approximately 21.7 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of the Liza Phase 1 development.


Liza Unity FPSO goes to Guyana. The Liza Unity floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel is on its way to Guyana, having left Singapore (OGJ – English). The FPSO is expected to arrive at the Stabroek block late this year.


Suriname requests expressions of interest for shore bases. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation published a letter seeking interest in the development and operation of a shore base in Suriname. The goal is to match the development of the offshore oil and gas industry (BN Americas – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Guyana chose Aramco to market Liza crude. Guyana awarded Aramco Trading Limited the right to market its crude from the Liza 1 well (Platts – English). ATL would market Guyana’s fourth lift for 2021, scheduled for September 21-22.


Costa Rica may boost LPG use. By the end of this year, studies will begin to consider expanding the use of LPG in the Central American country as part of the country’s decarbonization push (BN Americas – English). The work will take 140 days and includes an analysis of the current infrastructure and supply chain situation for LPG.


Tanker ships in Panamá are under investigation. An environmental lawyer reported irregularities in the registry of tanker ships in Panamanian waters (Panama America – Spanish). The company of one of the ships has a record of polluting in the country.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Canacol will build a natural gas pipeline. The company executed a long-term take-or-pay natural gas sales contract with Empresas Públicas de Medellín ESP (EPM), supporting a new 20-inch, 300-km pipeline (OGJ – English). The pipeline will allow Canacol to sell up to 100 MMscfd into Colombia’s interior market.


Punta Catalina cannot turn to natural gas. According to the report made by the Energy Institute of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the proposed conversion of the thermoelectric power plant to natural gas “constitutes an infeasible project” (Dominican Today – English).


Sucre Energy bets on Venezuela’s natural gas future. After acquiring Inpex’s assets, Sucre Energy believes “there will be more realistic adjustments in the gas price so license holders will keep investing and producing gas” (Argus Media – English). Venezuela has long focused on crude rather than gas, much of which is flared.


Colombia’s gas supply faced some issues. The Mines and Energy Minister assured that the natural gas supply for 10.4 million homes and small businesses is guaranteed, despite the damages and the maintenance work in the Cusiana-El Porvenir-La Belleza pipeline, located in Casanare (El – Spanish).


Trinidad and Atlantic LNG are negotiating. Atlantic is working with the government on a restructuring to ensure its commercial viability (Argus Media – English). The Atlantic complex at Point Fortin is suffering a chronic feedstock shortage, taking down 20% of its capacity.



Electric Power & Renewables


MPC Energy Solutions chose an EPC for El Salvador’s solar. MPC Energy Solutions (MPCES) chose ISOTRON as EPC contractor for the Santa Rosa & Villa Sol solar photovoltaic plants’ construction in El Salvador (Energy Global – English). The construction will start in September 2021.


The USDA awarded US$537,363 for 11 Puerto Rican projects. The United States Department of Agriculture allocated US$537,363 for 11 projects in Puerto Rico to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers, and businesses lower energy costs (Caribbean Business – English).


The US will help the region’s renewable capacity. The US will assist Latin America and the Caribbean to increase renewable energy capacity across the region by 2030 (Jamaica Observer – English). The strategies include lowering emissions by accelerating forest financing and relief programs.


The CRIE okayed a hydropower project in Honduras. Central America power interconnection commission CRIE approved Hidroeléctrica El Volcán’s request to connect the 192MW El Tornillito hydroelectric project to Honduras’ regional transmission network (BN Americas – English).


The Dominican Republic wants to simplify investing in renewables. The CNE and Pro-Dominicana agreed to launch a new platform to boost investment in renewable energy (PV Magazine – Spanish). The goal is to launch the new platform in December.



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 Geothermal Direct Use: Global Forum & Tour is scheduled for September 27-29.


The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum will be held on October 27-28.



Lateral Thinking


Colombia’s sun powers up metal and a shopping mall. Surtigas and Centro Comercial Caribe Plaza cut the ribbon on a solar plant that will generate 1.4 million kWh per year (PV-Magazine – Spanish). Groupe SEB Andean and GreenYellow opened the first plant in the metal industry powered up by the sun (PV Magazine – Spanish).



Quote of the Week


“…in our lifetimes we have so much to survive.”



– Angie Cruz (1972), American novelist and associate professor of Dominican descent.




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