Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Caribbean, Venezuela Agree on Energy Plan

Energy officials from the Caribbean and Venezuela agreed Friday to create a new company that will provide cheaper oil in the region as a way to counter high crude prices.

Ending a two-day conference in the resort town of Montego Bay, officials said recent spikes in world oil prices threatened to provoke "social unrest" and economic ruin for cash-strapped Caribbean countries.

The new company, called PetroCaribe, was proposed by Venezuela to offset high oil prices by distributing crude and refined oil products to the Caribbean at lower prices than other dealers in the area.

But few details emerged from the conference, including a date for when the company might take shape or how much the region might save. Officials agreed to create a commission led by Venezuela to study the plan and said there would be a follow-up meeting in the Bahamas in November.

"PetroCaribe should be a catalyst for the introduction of alternative approaches to market access ... and correction of the various pricing inequities that prevail in some markets," officials said in a joint statement.

Jamaican officials had said Thursday that Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez was at the conference, but on Friday they said he had canceled his trip. Venezuela's deputy director of hydrocarbons, Ivan Orellana, attended instead, officials said.

It was not clear why Ramirez canceled his appearance, though he was in Venezuela on Friday participating in public celebrations of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's defeat of a recent recall referendum on his rule. Venezuelan officials were not immediately available for comment.

After soaring to a record US$49 per barrel last week, oil prices have fallen steadily in recent trading as worries over world supply subside. The October contract for light crude settled at US$43.18 per barrel, up 8 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries indicated Thursday that it might seek to push prices down further, possibly by increasing production.

Venezuela's plan could have big benefits for countries like Jamaica, which imports more than 90 percent of its energy. The island's fuel bill is expected to jump 23 percent this year to US$1 billion (Jamaican US$60 billion).

The countries participating in this week's talks were: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Venezuela, the world's No.5 oil exporter, also proposed establishing a fund to provide grants for health, education and housing programs in the Caribbean.

The South American country says it produces more than 3 million barrels of oil a day. Some analysts say the amount is closer to 2.5 million.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Tags:  

The Debacle at Doha

Sunday, April 17th was the designated moment. The world’s leading oil …

Is Peak Oil Dead and What Does it Mean for Climate Change?   

This session seeks to bring together fossil fuel experts and climate experts …

Peak Oil Review: A Midweek Update - Apr 28

 A midweek update. Oil prices continued to climb this week, capped …

San Francisco Becomes First Major City to Require Solar Panels on New Buildings

San Francisco is one step closer to its goal of transitioning to 100 percent …

The Outlook for Electric Vehicles  

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, and hopes are high that we …

We Could Be Witnessing the Death of the Fossil Fuel Industry—Will It Take the Rest of the Economy Down With It?

It’s not looking good for the global fossil fuel industry. Although …

Gov. Cuomo Rejects the Constitution Pipeline, Huge Win for the Anti-Fracking Movement

In a win for climate activists and the anti-fracking movement, and a blow to …