US Backs LNG Distribution Base in Jamaica

Go Lean Commentary

All of a sudden, the US wants to take the lead in providing energy solutions for the Caribbean. What happened?

Oh yeah, another suitor came calling on this beautiful “sweetheart” that the US had taken for granted. That suitor: Venezuela; (see Appendix).

Though this is a simplistic analogy, the appearance of romancing the Caribbean heart (and dollars) regarding energy fuel seems to follow the dramatic sequences of “teenage love”.

The book Go Lean… Caribbean relates (Page 100) how the Caribbean has among the most expensive energy costs in the world, despite having abundant alternative energy natural resources (solar, trade winds, tidal, geo-thermal). The societal administrations only focused on imported petroleum to provide energy options and as a result retail electricity rates in the Caribbean average US$0.35/kWh, when instead it could be down to US$0.088/kWh.

These are just the economic issues. There is also the matter of burning fossil fuels and contributing to global warming and climate change. For this teenage love scenario, that is too far-reaching for this original suitor; his only focus is the short-term. The Go Lean book posits that the embrace of this identified alternative energy generation source (Natural Gas) could be more impactful on the environment in addition to remediating the high energy costs.

The US is now the world largest energy producer. But Venezuela is the largest oil exporter in all of Latin America; they turned their attention – with their PetroCaribe program – to aid the Caribbean member-states with very attractive and enticing delivery and payment terms to consume more Venezuelan oil. Most of the independent Caribbean states acquiesced to these advances.

But now, the Empire Strikes Back

Previously, this commentary detailed how the US Ambassadors to the Caribbean were soliciting more US trade in energy options and dissuading the Venezuelan connections. Now we follow-up to see the US making strides with Jamaica to help diversify energy generation – include natural gas – and establish this central Caribbean destination as a hub for natural gas logistics to the rest of the region.

See the news article here from the NGI* entity about Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG):

Title: U.S. Backs Fuel Diversification, LNG Distribution Base in Jamaica
By: Charlie Passut

The United States will help Jamaica with fuel diversification and embrace liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its energy needs, and will also back plans for the island nation to become a base for delivering LNG to the rest of the Caribbean region.

On Thursday [(April 9, 2015)], U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz signed an agreement with Jamaica’s energy minister, Phillip Paulwell, at the U.S.-CARICOM summit in Mona, Jamaica.

CU Blog - US Backs LNG Distribution Base in Jamaica - Photo 1“We believe that Jamaica could be a part of [an LNG export] hub because of our geographic location, in proximity to places like Haiti and other areas in the western Caribbean,” Paulwell said, according to video of the summit provided by the government’s Jamaica Information Service (JIS). “After these meetings, we are hoping to zero in on some of the specificity.”

Moniz countered that DOE would help facilitate discussions between Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank, which provides financial and technical support to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also suggested talks with the bank’s president, Luis Alberto Moreno.

“We are happy to [facilitate the discussions],” Moniz said on JIS. “We think it’s good for the Western Hemisphere and certainly good for the Caribbean in terms of energy security, environmental impact and economic development.”

CU Blog - US Backs LNG Distribution Base in Jamaica - Photo 2Rick Smead, managing director of advisory services for RBN Energy LLC, said Jamaica had been expected to become a major trading center for LNG, with larger tankers coming in to offload onto smaller barges and tankers for shorter trips to the different islands.

“But until Secretary Moniz’s visit, I didn’t know how close we were to supporting that or doing anything to try to foster it,” Smead told NGI on Friday.

“One of the rapidly evolving dynamics of U.S. gas abundance, and especially our LNG export capability, is that in addition to the large volume [of international cargoes bound] for Europe and Asia, there should be a lot of opportunities for smaller cargoes to taxi all over the place in the Caribbean. The technology of both floating liquefaction and especially floating regasification along the lines of accelerates stuff, frees up the ability to go to a lot of these smaller markets without needing to build a giant regasification facility.

“There’s been a proliferation of smaller LNG transportation and regasification technologies all over the Caribbean, in large part in anticipation of there being a lot more supply available.”

Smead predicted that the U.S. will eventually become the world’s second or third largest exporter of LNG, with the Caribbean becoming a significant importer.

“The Caribbean [is] a very gas hungry market,” Smead said. “Being very close to the U.S. Gulf Coast, where four out of our five operational LNG export facilities that are close to getting done will be [located], it seems pretty obvious that there would be a lot of vitality to that market.”

Last month, American LNG Marketing LLC was granted DOE authorization to export up to 60,000 tonnes per annum of containerized LNG from Florida, mostly to free trade agreement (FTA) countries in the Caribbean and Central America (see Daily GPI, March 23).

In 2014, Carib Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Crowley Maritime Corp., won a multi-year contract to export containerized LNG produced in the U.S. to an undisclosed pharmaceutical company in Puerto Rico (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2014). That followed DOE approval for Carib and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG project to export domestically-produced LNG. Both facilities are in Louisiana, on the Gulf Coast (see Daily GPI, Sept. 10, 2014

The U.S. Energy Administration has also touted the benefits of LNG exports to U.S. island states and territories (see Daily GPI, Aug. 19, 2014).
Source: Natural Gas Intelligence Magazine  (Posted April 13, 2015) –

This foregoing news article highlights some important issues, most of which have been detailed in the Go Lean book. That publication coupled energy as a basic need with food, clothing and shelter; and then addressed ways to elevate Caribbean society by optimizing the delivery of these needs. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This entity would serve as a regional confederation of all 30 Caribbean member-states to provide better leverage to source the energy resources for the region, including natural gas options that had previously been overlooked; (see Appendix-VIDEO below). Many benefits abound from this approach. This Go Lean roadmap identifies these benefits as prime directives, as detailed in these 3 declarative statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of governance to support these engines.

The motivation of the Go Lean…Caribbean book is love for this homeland and the quest to make it a better place to live, work and play. If the US now wants to show more leadership in this area, we welcome their positive contribution. But we stand cautioned in knowing that America is plagued with the history of prioritizing their self-interest above the needs of the Caribbean people. We now therefore dread an American leadership and instead look for a partnership. We want to be protégés and no longer parasites.

Early in the book, the need to better leverage our small Caribbean populations in trade negotiations with the US or Venezuela was pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with these statements:

viii. Whereas the population size is too small to foster good negotiations for products and commodities from international vendors, the Federation must allow the unification of the region as one purchasing agent, thereby garnering better terms and discounts.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

So we welcome America’s natural gas options;  (see Appendix-VIDEO below) …

… and we add renewables and other energy alternatives into the mix for Caribbean energy.  These would be more cost efficient and ecologically friendly for the planet, of which we share with our bigger neighbors in North and South America. This would truly be lean!

CU Blog - US Backs LNG Distribution Base in Jamaica - Photo 3This concept of lean is very important for this roadmap to elevate Caribbean society. For the purpose of this effort, ‘lean’ is more than just a description, it’s a noun, a verb, an adjective and an adverb. It is also a commitment and a cause in which the entire Caribbean region is urged to embrace; or better stated: “lean in”.

Why were natural gas solutions not considered in the past?

It is an imported resource, just like petroleum; it requires the same logistical considerations as crude oil or refined products of gasoline and diesel. Except though natural gas (LNG) does not need to be refined, only converted from liquid form back to gas form: regasification. LNG is more stable for transport.

The Go Lean roadmap also anticipates the transport option of pipelines. The strategies, tactics and implementation (above ground, underground and undersea of this technology) have been fully detailed in the book. The roadmap thereby details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster progress in the wide fields of energy generation and energy distribution. The following list applies:

Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Regional Taxi Commissions – To Adopt Natural Gas Page 25
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations Page 32
Anecdote – Pipeline Transport – Strategies, Tactics & Implementations Page 43
Strategy – Harness the power of the sun/winds Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 82
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Energy Commission Page 82
Anecdote – “Lean” in Government – Energy Permits Page 93
Anecdote – Caribbean Energy Grid Implementation Page 100
Implementation – Ways to Develop Pipeline Industry Page 107
Implementation – Ways to Improve Energy Usage Page 113
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Monopolies Page 202

The energy needs for the Caribbean are undeniable. The Caribbean region must take the lead in providing Caribbean energy needs. Though we welcome the US partnership, we should be cautious as to their motives and priorities. We accept that at this moment, the US may have altruistic motives, especially with declining oil prices possibly affecting Venezuela. But for far too often, American leadership has been motivated by crony-capitalistic intentions. The points of mitigating the risks of American Big Business (in this case Big Oil) were further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries: Ambassadors to Caribbean discuss PetroCaribe-Energy, Security A Christmas Present for the Banks from the Omnibus Bill Caribbean must work together to address US rum subsidies   A Lesson in History: Oil Magnate Rockefeller’s Pipeline The Cost of American Cancer Drugs Book Review: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’ Lessons: How Best to Welcome the Dreaded American ‘Plutocracy’ The Criminalization of American Business – Big Banks Let Loose America’s War on the Caribbean 10 Things We Don’t Want from the US – #1: American Self-Interest

Fulfilling the Caribbean energy needs is a great target for lean, agile operations, perfect for the CU technocracy. This allows us to prove, to ourselves and to the world, that we can truly be protégés and not just parasites.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people, business, institutions and governments, to lean-in for the optimizations and opportunities described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean.  🙂

Download Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


* Appendix – About …

  • NGI – Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), is a leading provider of natural gas, shale news and market information for the deregulated North American natural gas industry. Since the first issue of Natural Gas Intelligence was published in 1981, NGI has provided key pricing and data relied upon daily by thousands of industry participants in the U.S, Canada and Mexico as well as Central and South America, Europe and Asia.
  • NGI Corporate – Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), operating under the corporate entity of Intelligence Press, Inc., is the publisher of the NGI family of newsletters–a leading provider of news and physical market pricing information for the deregulated North American natural gas industry. Since the first issue of the Natural Gas Intelligence newsletter published in 1981, NGI has provided information and data relied upon daily by thousands of industry participants in the U.S, Canada and Mexico as well as Central and South America, Europe and Asia.


Appendix – Venezuela’s PetroCaribe Distribution:

Venezuela Oil

Appendix – VIDEO: ExxonMobil’s Discussion on Energy Supply –

Published on Jan 23, 2015 – Advances in technology continue to make a wide range of energy supplies available to consumers. At the same time, the fuels that people and businesses choose to meet their needs continue to evolve. These choices are based not just on price, but also on attributes like convenience, performance and environmental effects. Natural gas is expected to be the fastest-growing major fuel through 2040.
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