Opinion

Regional opportunities in, and around, the Caribbean


The broad Caribbean is dominated by two major petroleum-producing countries, Venezuela and Mexico, even arguably a a third, the United States way to the north.

However I would like to focus on the arc of countries from Guyana, through Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados, all the way to Jamaica.

Interestingly, they are regionally linked through Caricom which has 15 member, and 5 associate member, countries. Also the University of the West Indies has a regional span as does the famous West Indies cricket team.

From a petroleum point of view the regionality is less convincing though one can make an argument that the La Luna source rock, responsible for most of the Venezuelan crude, is present at least as far north as Barbados and that the oil reservoirs in Barbados (the country produces somewhat less than 1000 bopd) are deep water clastics derived from the Orinoco river far to the south in Venezuela. However, Trinidad is currently alone in having significant petroleum resources and reserves with historic onshore oil production and major gas and significant oil production offshore.

So at first sight, a regional theme is hard to spot.

However, let's start somewhere else. With the exception of Trinidad, the Caricom countries are all significant importers of petroleum, especially oil, gasoline and jet fuel, thereby receiving a major hit to their finances. On the one hand, each one might welcome oil discoveries/production offshore, on the other hand they might fear an environmental impact on what is for many of them their main revenue generator – tourism.

Individually they might prefer a useful gas field offshore plus a focus on the obvious renewable energy sources namely solar and wind. IF Caricom had a regional energy sources/usages simulation, I suspect gas + solar + wind would emerge as a key regional theme. Indeed, a recent Caricom meeting seems to have headed in this direction.

Perhaps therein lies the opportunity for a Caribbean regional energy enterprise?

For a fuller interrogation of this region, click here.



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