The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


September 3, 2018 edition–Anguilla’s solar; T&T and Venezuela’s gas deal; and Prepa’s natural gas.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Central America will strengthen its trade; and Moody’s sees the friendship between El Salvador and China as a positive.


Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic is pushing the Electricity Pact; and Prepa will rely on natural gas.


Lesser Antilles. Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas expects a great September in Trinidad & Tobago; Anguilla is looking to rebuild a solar plant; and Trinity Exploration & Production drilled a new well.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela signed a gas agreement; Saipem was awarded new contracts for Liza; and Venezuela will hike fuel prices.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Jamaica’s refinery closure (English); Shell traders’ move from Barbados to the Bahamas (English); and AES’s natural gas plant in Panamá (Spanish).



Political Economy


Moody’s has a good feeling about the friendship between El Salvador and China. The rating agency said diplomatic relations between El Salvador and China will open new opportunities for foreign trade and infrastructure finance (Spanish). Moody’s said the alliance will help public spending, which declined in recent years.


The ECLAC cut the region’s expected growth. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reduced the growth forecast for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 from 2.2% to 1.5% (English). The commission expects a positive forecast for the region with certain signs of deceleration (Spanish).


Central America will strengthen its trade. The customs union of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador plans to propel production and trade in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Spanish). The union represents 5.4% of the Isthmus’ exports and 51.2% of the imports.


Barbados and the IMF sat back down at the table. The IMF mission returned to the island to continue negotiations, and Prime Minister Mia Mottley expects the negotiations to last no longer than nine months (English). In previous visits, the group discussed Barbados’ international reserves, its debt, and the plan to address imbalances.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Saipem got lucky with new contracts for Liza. Saipem was awarded contracts for the second phase of the ExxonMobil-led Liza development offshore Guyana, in addition to those awarded to the company in 2017 for Liza Phase 1 (English).


Guyana gets ready for its first oil. Guyana’s government is on schedule with preparations for first oil in 2020, especially passing critical legislation (English). Guyana is close to having Local Content, Sovereign Wealth Fund, and other legislation enacted.


Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas expects a great September. Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd. and Tullow Oil have been working to analyze and interpret 3D seismic data at Orinduik, which will have operational and commercial implications (English). The Orinduik Block is close to Exxon’s large Liza oil discovery.


Trinity Exploration & Production drilled a new well. Trinity Exploration & Production PLC shares rose after it spudded the first well of its six-well program in Trinidad (English). The goal is to maintain double-digit, year-on-year production growth.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Venezuela will hike fuel prices. The Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA plans to increase fuel prices in the domestic market in September after two decades of frozen rates (English). Daily consumption is estimated at 190,000 barrels per day, of which 83,000 barrels per day are imported.


Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela signed a gas agreement. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed an agreement for the importation of cheap natural gas from Venezuela to the islands (English). The Energy Minister assured reporters that the gas agreement was reached after “months of negotiations” to come up with an appropriate gas price (English).


Sun oil has spillage under control. Sun Oil has taken action to contain the diesel spillage that contaminated the marina at Exuma’s Emerald Bay Resort (English). The company was able to recover the fuel from the water and complete the final remediation process.


Petrotrin will close its oil refinery and its union opposes the decision. The state-owned oil company in Trinidad & Tobago decided to end the company’s oil refinery operations (English). The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organizations asked the government to rescind the decision to shut down the refinery (English).



Renewables & Electricity


A biomass plant is under consideration in the Bahamas. The newly-appointed minister of agriculture and marine resources reviewed a proposal to create 250 jobs through a biomass plant with a generation capacity of 24MW (English). The project could be ready within 24 months of cabinet approval.


The Dominican Republic is working on the Electricity Pact. The Energy and Mines Minister said the Dominican Republic is creating the conditions to explore and exploit the country’s natural resources (Spanish). The oil round is being planned to allow companies to compete in the bidding to explore and exploit oil and gas in the Dominican Republic.


Anguilla is looking to rebuild a solar plant. The Anguilla Electricity Company extended the deadline for the request for proposals to rebuild a 1MW solar plant to September 28 (English). The services provided by the bidder should include the design, fabrication, delivery, installation, and commissioning of the solar panels (English).


Prepa will rely on natural gas. A draft of the Integrated Resource Plan for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) confirmed Puerto Rico will rely on new natural gas facilities (English). In the draft, the construction of a gas pipeline connecting EcoEléctrica to the Aguirre power plant in Salinas is listed.



Old School Social


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


The Central American Energy Transition Roundtable is scheduled for September 20 at the Barceló San José Hotel, in Costa Rica.


The CARILEC Renewable Energy Community & Smart Grid Conference will be held September 23-27 at the Hilton Miami Downtown.



Lateral Thinking


A robot will hunt down lionfish. The lionfish have invaded the Caribbean Sea, threatening local fishing industries and the fragile coral reef population (English). The Worcester Polytechnic Institute built a robot to hunt down the lionfish.



Quote of the Week


“I paint a slice of life, whatever it is that day.”



-Geoffrey Holder (1930-2014), Trinidadian-American actor, dancer, choreographer, singer, and painter.



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