JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has said that developing nations must work to develop long-term solutions to their energy needs.
He said that with the oil reserves of major producers now estimated at 800 billion barrels and at present consumption and production levels, should only last for another 27 years, “all countries should ensure that a portion of their energy needs is met from environmentally-friendly renewable sources of energy.”
Prime Minister Patterson was delivering the opening remarks at the Second Energy Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the Caribbean and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela today (Sept. 6) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay.
He pointed out, that a combination of factors such as devastating weather systems, have driven oil prices to an unprecedented level, contributing to the cost breaking the US$70 per barrel mark. “Security of supplies and stability in price are issues of great concern, especially for small non-oil producing states such as those in the Caribbean,” he stated.The Prime Minister said that countries in the region must be mindful of the fact that oil was a finite resource that must be carefully managed for the benefit of future generations.
Calling for more focus to be placed on renewable energy, he noted that wind, solar, hydropower and biogas were readily available in the region and some large manufacturing operations were already benefiting from the technical knowledge for cogeneration projects and energy saving methodologies.He noted that Jamaica was already undertaking several projects for the development of renewables.
The summit, which is being attended by presidents and ministers of government from the 17 countries, including Cuba, which signed the Constituent Agreement for the PetroCaribe Agreement on June 29 in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, will end later today. Yesterday, officials and ministers of energy met to discuss, among other matters, the establishment of a PetroCaribe Secretariat to manage the initiative, as well as a proposed energy research facility for the Caribbean. There was also a series of presentations on renewable energy sources by energy ministers.
PetroCaribe seeks to contribute to regional energy security while promoting social and economic development. Through PetroCaribe, Venezuela will sell participating Caribbean countries oil under preferential payment conditions as well as facilitate endeavours in exploration, refining and distribution of the raw material while supporting the development of renewable energy sources. The agreement comes at a time when oil prices are at a record high and pose a serious threat to small vulnerable economies.
Before PetroCaribe, regional trading arrangements with Venezuela were governed primarily by the San Jose Agreement and the Caracas Energy Cooperation Agreement.
On June 29th the Venezuelan Government and 14 Caribbean States signed the PetroCaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement during the ‘First Energy Summit of Heads of State and/or Government of the Caribbean on PetroCaribe’ held in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela.
On August 24th Jamaica signed the first bilateral agreement with Venezuela. Under the arrangement, Jamaica will purchase 21,000 barrels of crude oil per day on specific terms and to provide for the upgrading of the Petrojam Refinery. The other governments are expected to sign today.