The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


September 21, 2020 edition–Panamá’s renewables; AES Dominicana’s natural gas supply; and Apache’s operations.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Panamá goes all in on renewables and electric vehicles.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Yaadman is going into the gas station business; AES Dominicana will boost natural gas supply; and Haiti will power up with rural solar mini-grids.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. BHP is going deeper into T&T; and Trinidad & Tobago’s Energy Chamber announced the LCMS.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Apache begins operations at the Keskesi East-1 exploration well; Ecopetrol plans to drill 100 wells in the US in 2021; and PDVSA restarted production in Sinovensa, Petromonagas, and Petropiar.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Colombia’s gas smuggling (WBUR – English); Enel’s PPA in Panamá (Renewables Now – English); and Nicaragua’s power reform (Central America Data – Spanish).



Government & NGO


El Salvador’s remittances increased 18.7% in August. El Salvador’s central bank said that El Salvador received US$559.3m in August, the highest amount since 2010 (El Mundo – Spanish). The amount surpasses the amount shown in the same month of 2019 by US$88.2m.


Trinidad & Tobago’s central bank is concerned about the economy. The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) said that COVID-19 has hit all aspects of the local economy this year. The CBTT noted that the energy sector is expected to slow as a consequence of slow global economic activity (CBC – English).


The CDB and UWItv will partner to promote the new EU standby facility. An agreement signed between CDB and the University of the West Indies will provide production and multimedia support to the Bank’s Standby Facility (Caribank – English). UWItv will broadcast content generated from CDB’s regional cooperation and integration-focused projects in 15 CARIFORUM countries.


Barbados may turn its back on the queen. A top official said that the Caribbean island nation plans to remove Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state, saying “the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind” (Reuters – English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


Trinidad & Tobago’s Energy Chamber announced the LCMS. The Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago announced the launch of its Local Content Management System. The LCMS is the first of its kind in the region and seeks to establish a robust framework to estimate the proportion of a dollar spent with a given company (Energy Now – English).


Apache began operations at the Keskesi East-1 exploration well. Apache started operations at the Keskesi East-1 exploration well 14 km southeast of Sapakara West-1 in Block 58 offshore Suriname using the Noble Sam Croft drillship (OGJ – English). Kwaskwasi-1 discovered hydrocarbons in multiple stacked targets in the upper Cretaceous Campanian and Santonian intervals.


PDVSA restarted production in Sinovensa, Petromonagas, and Petropiar. The state-owned company and its foreign partners in the three joint-venture projects restarted production of extra-heavy crude in the Orinoco Belt (Platts – English). All three JVs had stopped production in August.


BHP is going deeper into T&T. BHP is currently drilling the Broadside well with the Transocean Deepwater Invictus. The well will be over 20,000 ft deep and will be drilled in a water depth of over 6,000 ft, the deepest in T&T’s history (Energy Now – English).


Ecopetrol plans for 100 Texas wells in 2021. The Colombian oil company’s goal is to drill 100 wells by the end of 2021 in the Permian Basin of West Texas (Energy Analytics Institute – English). The company drilled 22 wells between November 2019 and June 2020, but production slowed during the pandemic.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Iranian gasoline heads toward Venezuela. Another round of Iranian gasoline shipments have headed to Venezuela despite US government actions to seize similar cargoes to increase pressure on President Maduro and Iran (Platts – English). A data intelligence company estimates they will arrive by September 29.


Yaadman is going into the gas station business. The petroleum marketing company is expanding into its own brand of service stations after an incursion into liquid petroleum gas (Jamaica Gleaner – English). The company is investing US$1.42bn to develop the network.


Ecopetrol says illegal pipeline taps are up. The increase in illegal siphoning on pipelines in Colombia is resulting in an average daily loss of 2,500 barrels of oil and refined fuels (Reuters – English). Close to 900 illegal valves were found on pipelines during the first eight months of the year.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


AES Dominicana will boost natural gas supply. The company AES announced the conclusion of the testing phase for the integration of floating solutions, including floating LNG storage and ship-to-ship transfer, which will make it possible to expand natural gas supply in Central America and the Caribbean (Dominican Today – English).


Promigas is mad Canacol cancelled its pipeline contract. The Colombian natural gas transporter pledged to take legal action after Canacol decided to terminate a 10-year contract for the use of new pipeline infrastructure (BN Americas – English). Promigas said it fully complied with its obligations extending a pipeline from its Jobo production fields in Córdoba department to the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla.


US LNG exports fell in July. US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) dropped 11.8% in July, after a 40.2% month-on-month decline in June. Latin America and the Caribbean region receive 21.6% of US LNG exports (Kallanish Energy – English).


Puerto Rico said no to natural gas, but San Juan will convert. Although the “Modified Action Plan” rejected PREPA’s push to build out natural gas infrastructure, the energy bureau approved the conversion of the oil-powered San Juan plant to natural gas (EDF – English). The bureau mandated that PREPA consider microgrids as a central part of its future grid planning.



Electric Power & Renewables


The Caribbean prefers geothermal energy. New Zealand and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will partner to deliver a study on opportunities for the use of geothermal energy (OECS – English). Thermal Energy Partners and Schlumberger New Energy created GeoFrame Energy to develop the 10-megawatt Nevis Geothermal Power Project for St. Kitts and Nevis (Kallanish Energy – English).


Jamaica and the IDB will work on electricity loss reduction. The IDB will provide technical cooperation funds to help Jamaica’s energy ministry develop a national electricity loss reduction plan (New Energy Events – English). A plan will determine the role of JPS and required investment and technologies.


Haiti will power up with rural solar mini-grids. The Haitian government launched a program to develop privately led mini-grids in Haiti (New Energy Events – English). The program provides subsidies to private developers and operators to ensure the sustainability of the services provided and access to these services at an affordable cost for end users.


Trina Solar cut the ribbon on its first solar park in Colombia. The China-based solar company inaugurated its first solar park in the Caribbean nation, the 27.23MW Bosques de los Llanos 1 (Renewables Now – English). Colombia’s renewables share of total electricity production decreased to 81.75% in August from 83.2% recorded the month before (Renewables Now – English).


Panamá goes all in on renewables and electric vehicles. Enel Green Power Panamá started construction of the Jagüito solar plant, a 13.12MW project in Coclé (PV Magazine – Spanish). Panamá plans to exchange 195 of its buses for electric vehicles (PV Magazine – Spanish).



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 12th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum is scheduled for October 28-30.



Lateral Thinking


Evergo powers up the Dominican Republic’s president’s vehicle. Evergo, a technology platform operated by InterEnergy Systems Dominicana, was given the presidential vehicle for charging in Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Today – English). Meanwhile, 20% of Dominican homes have a power storage unit with a total power of 922.7MW (Dominican Today – English).



Quote of the Week


“If the sleep of reason produces monsters, what does the sleep of unreason produce?”


– Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1929-2005), Cuban novelist, screenwriter, and critic.



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