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Exxon announce another offshore discovery

  On October 5, ExxonMobil announced a fifth discovery of oil offshore Guyana. The company reported that at the end of September, exploration drilling in its Turbot-1 well had discovered a reservoir of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone at a depth of 18,445ft in 5,912ft of water. The well follows four previous discoveries at its Liza, Payara, Snoek, and Liza Deep wells…

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Uncertainty surrounds Cuban economic growth forecast for second half of 2017

Cuba’s President, Raul Castro, has warned that while the country experienced a 1.1% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of 2017, it anticipated “possible difficulties in the supply of fuels from Venezuela” during the remainder of this year. President Castro made the comments during the closing session of the mid-year meeting of the country’s National Assembly…

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CARICOM Heads paper over their disunity

David Granger, outgoing CARICOM Chairman and President of Guyana, has warned fellow Heads of Government that the Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity and must do more to protect its interests internationally. Speaking at the opening of the annual CARICOM summit, held this year in Grenada from July 4-6, President Granger said that the region faced…

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EXXON prepares to pump oil in Guyana in 2020

ExxonMobil has begun to mobilise for the first phase of oil production on its Liza field, offshore Guyana, following the formal granting of a production licence by Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources on June 15. An environmental permit had been issued earlier on June 1 by the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency. Following the approval, ExxonMobil and its partners CNOOC Nexen…

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Puerto Rico’s Governor says statehood vote should be acted on

Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, has said that despite very low voter turnout in the island’s June 11 non-binding referendum, the outcome was “fair and open”, and the decision should be acted upon by the US Federal Government. Voter turnout was just 23%, following widespread calls to boycott the vote. Despite those who favour statehood arguing that they received a…

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Cayman coalition confirmed after days of wrangling

After nearly a week of confused negotiations following an inconclusive result in the Cayman Islands General Election, a new Government of National Unity has been agreed on. In the May 24 election, independent candidates took nine seats of the nineteen available in the territory’s legislature. The incumbent People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) took seven seats, and the opposition Cayman Democratic Party…

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Jamaica and Dominican Republic to deepen relations

Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have agreed to develop a bilateral agenda ‘with a view to seeking convergence in positions that address regional and international issues of mutual interest’ and ‘consolidating’ their relationship. The two countries’ position was set out in a joint declaration at the end of a visit by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, to the Dominican Republic…

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Region polarised over turmoil in Venezuela

Significant divisions have emerged about the extent to which the Caribbean should respond politically to the growing internal crisis in Venezuela. Concern has also been expressed about the effect on regional stability if the situation deteriorates further, with fears that this could lead to a refugee crisis. The divisions became public on April 26 at a meeting of the Permanent…

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Cuba and the DR set to improve trade relations

Cuba and the Dominican Republic have agreed on a basis on which a partial scope free trade agreement will be negotiated between the two nations. The agreement is expected to lead to the two largest independent Caribbean economies negotiating significant tariff reductions, the easing of non-tariff barriers, and agreement on the harmonisation of phytosanitary and other regulations that currently impede…

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Sugar industry seeks protection within CARICOM

Representatives from the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) met with a range of industry stakeholders in March, where they agreed on the need to develop and protect the regional sugar market in light of upcoming changes to Europe’s sugar regime. The industry proposal, made at a meeting in Kingston, Jamaica on March 23/24, responds to an expected fall in…

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