Despite Low Production in September, Venezuela Increased Oil Shipments to Cuba

PDVSA and its joint ventures registered a drop in their exports in September, but not to Cuba. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 October 2021 — Venezuela’s oil exports posted their worst level of the year in September, but the country’s shipments to Cuba reached 58,000 barrels per day (bpd), a substantial increase over the 40,000 sent in August.

These deliveries occurred in a month in which the thermoelectric plants have failed on the island, which has caused constant blackouts, some lasting up to nine hours, in Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Holguín and Pinar del Río, which exhausts the patience of the Cubans.

The authorities insist that “the situation will improve,” but the Electricity Union announces power cuts daily, like the one this Tuesday. As explained by the company, due to breakdowns in five units, the Otto Parellada, Máximo Gómez, Diez de Octubre and Antonio Maceo CTE are out of service, and Unit 4 of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes CTE is under maintenance. And so, the blackouts are expected to continue.

In Venezuela there have also been power outages, which the Venezuelan Minister of Electric Power, Néstor Reverol, attributes “sabotage.” According to the former Deputy Minister of Energy, Víctor Poleo, on the contrary, the problem lies in the fact that since 2005 “there has been almost no maintenance or investment in the electricity system.”

The mismanagement has resulted in the lack of the products necessary to dilute Venezuela’s heavy oil, which affected its exports and extraction in the Orinoco Belt.

In an effort to try to resolve the crisis, the national oil company PDVSA will use a shipment of Iranian condensate that arrived in the country last week to promote three key projects that seek to increase crude production in the Orinoco Belt and which are being developed in collaboration with the US company Chevron and the China National Petroleum Corporation.

PDVSA and its joint ventures exported 414,000 barrels per day in 19 shipments in September, a 34% decrease compared to the previous month and the lowest average since October 2020.

About two-thirds of the shipments went to Asia, the main destination for Venezuela’s oil, while 77,500 bpd of crude and refined products went to the Middle East.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.