14ymedio, (with information from agencies), Havana, 11 January 2018 — Cuba will receive 2.1 million barrels of oil from the state-owned Algerian company Sonatrach in 2018, the same amount it received last year. Since October 2016, when oil shipments from Venezuela dropped by 40%, this Algerian company has supplied crude oil to the island to make up for the loss.
“In 2017 we delivered a total of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil to Cuba,” Omar Maaliou, Sonatrach’s commercial and marketing VP, told Reuters. “We will do the same this coming year,” he said.
The good relations between both countries go back years. Raúl Castro visited the Arab country in May 2015, when he met with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and President Buteflika, and the head of government was in Havana in 2016.
Cuba only produces 40% of the oil it consumes and imports between 200 and 300 million dollars each year in oil products from Algeria. In addition, it maintains an agreement with Venezuela to receive oil supplies, but production in that country has been dropping for more than a decade, both because of its economic situation as well as the drop in fuel prices on the world market.
Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that Cuba receives 55,000 barrels a day from Caracas, far below the 100,000 it received during the presidency of Hugo Chávez.
Havana had depended almost exclusively on Venezuela for its supply of crude oil in the framework of an assistance program that Caracas has had problems maintaining because power cuts, lack of investment and delays in payments have all decreased its oil production.
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