Cuba Receives More Than 90,000 Tons of Oil From Russia

The tanker NS Concord arrived in the port of Matanzas with more than 90,000 tons of Russian oil / / @EnergiaMinasCub/X

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 31 March 2024 — Cuba received a ship from Russia with more than 90,000 tons of oil to alleviate the Island’s energy crisis, the Ministry of Energy and Mines reported on Saturday. The NS Concord, under the flag of Gabon, arrived at the Matanzas base in the  west of the country. This is the second shipment of crude oil from Moscow to Havana after the one made on March 17, when 650,000 barrels of crude oil arrived – valued at almost 50 million dollars.

Cuba is going through an energy crisis reflected in interruptions in the electricity service that have lasted more than 10 hours a day.

These shipments occur after several high-level official visits between the two countries. The most recent was that of the Minister of Foreign Trade, Ricardo Cabrisas, to the Eurasian country.

During Cabrisas’ stay in Moscow, Russia granted a new loan to Havana – for an undisclosed amount – to “guarantee the stable supply of oil, petroleum products, wheat and fertilizers,” according to the state agency Prensa Latina.

Due to the shortage of fuel, the Corral Falso gas station in Guanabacoa opens at 12 pm / 14ymedio

The Cuban government has recently reported that one of the problems in electricity generation is explained by the drop in crude oil imports from allied countries. Although the Island’s government has not indicated them by name, maritime traffic tracking data point to Venezuela and Russia.

Jorge Piñón, an energy expert at the University of Texas, points out that “Cuba is benefiting, like all the other buyers of the Russian Urals crude, from buying a very good quality crude at a discount. Russia was previously selling the Europe Brent crude oil at a premium.”

Piñón explains that Russia has high crude oil inventories due to the sanctions imposed by the West for its invasion of Ukraine. He emphasizes that this has led the Kremlin to “sell he Brent crude at a discount of 8 to 12 dollars per barrel,” having India and China among the main customers.

The Russian Urals crude, Piñón says, is “sold at a discount and at a subsidized price in international markets.” However, “the problem is liquidity due to the few buyers who take the risk of going against the sanctions. The Urals is sold today at $77.43, a discount of $9.54 from the Brent.”

The expert from the University of Texas says that on April 5, another tanker, the Nordic, will arrive in Matanzas, with 475,000 barrels of Russian oil.

According to data offered by Piñón, like the tanker NS Concord, the Nordic set sail from the Russian port of Ust-Luga and made stops in Senegal and Cape Verde. “We are sure that it is one of many Russian oil tankers that are on hold, making technical stops at several ports, to find a final buyer/destination.”

Tourists of the Russian company Rosnetf upon their arrival on the Island / Granma

This Saturday, Havanatur and the International Group of Tour Operators and Travel Agents reported the arrival on the Island of the first flight of this season of workers from the Russian oil company Rosnetf. According to Havanatur, the Nordwind airline transported 389 passengers to “develop ’stay’ programs.” This is the first of three groups of the oil company for the spring, and “another four flights will be completed for the fall.”

For a decade, Havanatur has been offering Rosnetf workers stays to rest and have a medical check-up. The official newspaper Granma emphasizes that the agreement with the Russian company began on the Island in 2014 and “selected the Varadero spa, the main Cuban sun and beach tourist destination, where they enjoy outdoor physical activities, excursions and medical check-ups.”

The Russian workers were received at the Juan Gualberto Gómez de Matanzas international terminal, by the first deputy minister of the Ministry of Tourism, María del Carmen Orellana, the general director of Havanatur, Yoelkis Salazar, and other managers.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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