LatAm Briefs: Guyana-Suriname Basin Reserves

(Energy Analytics Institute, 21.Aug.2021) — Energy briefs from the Latin America and Caribbean region including: Argentina pondering its allocation of energy subsidies, Ecopetrol closing on an earlier announced $3.7bn ISA deal, reserves in the Guyana-Suriname Basin continuing to rise, and trafficking of coltan rising between Colombia and Venezuela, and much more.

Argentina

— Argentina’s government continues to evaluate a plan to modify its allocation of energy subsidies. One of the ideas circulating among the government of Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez is to divide the subsidies into three groups, which could be roughly called: “well-off”; “middle-class” and “underprivileged,” the daily Clarín reported on 21 August 2021.

— Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed his government was in negotiations with Argentina for the import of natural gas from the Vaca Muerta formation. The gas would reach Brazil after construction of the Misiones gas pipeline. “We are in negotiations with Argentina… gas from Vaca Muerta,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying in an article published 21 August 2021 by the daily Clarín. “It will come one day because it is not easy to start importing gas, creating, and building pipelines,” Bolsonaro said.

Colombia

Ecopetrol closed on its acquisition of a 51.4% stake in Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. ESP (ISA) for an equivalent of $3.7bn, the company announced on 20 August 2021. The acquisition represents a milestone in development of the Bogota-based oil giant’s energy transition strategy, which aims to maximize the life and value of its oil and gas portfolio, while progressing in decarbonization and diversification towards low-emission businesses.

RELATED STORY: Ecopetrol Closes Transaction Related To ISA

— Growth of Colombia’s extractive mining sector in the first half of 2021 was aided by higher volumes of gold, metallurgical coal and coke, the daily El Espectador reported on 19 August 2021. The sector is projected to grow 15% for the remainder of the year, according to details presented by the Colombian Mining Association (ACM by its Spanish acronym).

— A study by EcoAnalítica (a poll that included 1,367 participants) regarding voting preferences for political candidates likely to run for the presidency of Colombia in 2022 show Senator Gustavo Petro, from the Colombia Humana party, leading the poll with 21.6% of the participants favoring him, the daily El Tiempo reported 19 August 2021. Petro was then followed by: Sergio Fajardo (Coalición de la Esperanza, 12.7%), former major Federico Gutiérrez (8.9%), Juan Manuel Galán (Nuevo Liberalismo, 6%), former Barranquilla major Alejandro Char (4.2%), Óscar Iván Zuluaga (Centro Democrático, 3.8%), former major Rodolfo Hernández (3.3%), former vice president Humberto de la Calle (1.6%), senator María Fernanda Cabal (1.4%), former governor Camilo Romero (1.2%) and Jorge Enrique Robledo (Dignidad, 1.2%).

Guyana

— Discoveries offshore Guyana in the Stabroek Block by a consortium led by Exxon including Hess and CNOOC have found more than 9 billion equivalent barrels of oil. Estimated reserves found offshore neighboring Suriname are said to be around another 2 billion equivalent barrels of oil, officials from Guyana announced 19 August 2021 during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. As a result, the Guyana-Suriname Basin has to date current reserves totaling around 11 billion equivalent barrels of oil and exploration activities continue in both countries.

Venezuela

–Coltan trafficking from Venezuela to Colombia continues to increase, reported Efe on 21 August 2021, citing a report from InSight Crime. Guerrillas are to blame for the increase, the daily said. Recently on 15 August, approximately 1.5 tons of coltan was seized following the discovery of the mineral by the police in a cargo truck in the department of Guainía in eastern Colombia.

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By Ian Silverman, Aaron Simonsky and Jared Yamin. © Energy Analytics Institute (EAI). All Rights Reserved.