Although Venezuela Exported Less Oil in February, Cuba Received More Than in January

Oil imports from Venezuela alleviate the acute energy crisis that Cuba is experiencing. (Wikimedia)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 4 March 2023 — Despite the 8% drop in Venezuela’s oil exports in February, the amount of fuel that Nicolás Maduro sent to Cuba grew by 34% compared to the previous month. Havana received from its ally 53,320 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, fuel oil and gasoline mixture, about 13,545 more than in the first month of the year.

The amount of oil that Venezuela sends to the Island has not been stable in recent months. Although 52,000 bpd were unloaded in October, in November there was a fall (to 38,000) that was compensated in December, with the delivery of 57,000 bpd. In January, with 39,775, the number decreased again.

Although shipments to Cuba increased, the company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and its associated companies exported the lowest amount of oil worldwide since mid-2022 (555,250 bpd), according to Reuters.

Seventy percent of shipments went to China, the first export destination, while shipments to Cuba accounted for 9.4%.

The new president of PDVSA, Pedro Tellechea, signed an order last January to suspend crude oil exports, with the exception of some customers with whom he has oil exchange or debt payment agreements; included in that list are Cuba, the Naftiran Intertrade Company of Iran, and contracts with the US producer Chevron and the Italian Eni. The suspension served to carry out an audit for alleged losses in shipments in Puerto José, western Venezuela, which was draining the financial liquidity of the largest terminal in the country.

For weeks, according to Reuters, the oil tankers were ordered to move away from the moorings, and some transfers from ship to ship were stopped, which resulted in a delay in the delivery of 40 million barrels of crude oil accumulated by the end of last January.

Washington authorized Chevron to expand its operations and resume the export of Venezuelan crude oil for service stations in the United States. In February alone, 82,215 bpd of heavy crude oil were sent to its refineries and other U.S. customers, while Eni shipped 656,000 barrels to Spain.

In 2000, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez signed an agreement in which Caracas pledged to provide 53,000 bpd in exchange for Cuban doctors. However, shipments of black gold and its derivatives in recent months have fallen below the committed quota.

Reuters points out that Venezuela also exported 347,000 metric tons of petroleum products and petrochemicals in February, a sharp drop from the record recorded in January of 727,000 tons. The collapse is attributed to problems in the operation of equipment that generated delays in the cargo terminal.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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