Mexico resumes oil shipments to Cuba

Mexico resumes oil shipments to Cuba

HAVANA, May 31st Mexico is about to resume oil shipments to Cuba after a three-month pause.
The Vilma oil tanker, flying the Cuban flag, arrived this Monday at the Pajaritos terminal in Coatzacoalcos, in the city of Veracruz, and is waiting to load at that port, according to the Reuters agency this Wednesday.

Maritime tracking applications such as Vesselfinder or Marine Traffic confirm that the Cuban ship is in Mexico.

The Administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador last sent crude oil to the island in February, when the tanker Esperanza sailed from Pajaritos with 350,000 barrels.

This figure increased to 7,435,000 barrels delivered to Cuba so far in AMLO’s mandate, with an estimated value of 537 million dollars.

The Mexican state company PEMEX has become the second largest supplier of crude oil to the island since the second quarter of 2023, ahead of other allies of the regime such as Russia and behind Venezuela, which tops the list.

PEMEX sends light crude oil through a wholly-owned subsidiary aboard Cuba’s tanker fleet, Reuters highlights.

Since it began regular oil exports last year, Mexico sent an average of 21,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Cuba through February, according to data cited by Reuters.

Shipments in the second half of last year were valued by PEMEX at around $400 million.

In June 2023, Mexican journalist Gerardo Aburto denounced that PEMEX was allegedly diverting resources through the Gasolineras del Bienestar project to “give crude oil to the oppressive Government of Cuba.”

Venezuela’s oil supply to Cuba fell to about 24,500 bpd in the first four months of this year, down from nearly 50,000 bpd in the same period in 2023.

Cuba needs about 125,000 bpd of fuels, including motor gasoline, diesel and fuel oil for power generation, according to the Statistical Information Office.

That volume faces domestic oil production of around 40,000 bpd, creating a permanent need for imports.

Cuba desperately needs fuel. The volume of blackouts has skyrocketed considerably in recent weeks, even giving rise to some protests, something that the Cuban government especially fears after the historic anti-government protests of July 2021.

For this Thursday, the Electrical Union (UNE) of Cuba predicted that during peak hours, impacts on the electrical service above 1,000 MW are expected, a figure that has become customary amid the current crisis.

Perhaps already counting on Mexican oil, CIMEX announced this Thursday that they will open 17 new service centers in dollars starting on Saturday to “satisfy” the demand for fuel.