HAVANA, Sept. 5. Oil exports from Venezuela to Cuba in August closed with an increase, adding 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) of shipments of crude oil, fuel oil, gasoline and diesel, which means 12,000 more than the 53,000 bpd of July.
However, the South American nation has not exceeded the shipment of crude it registered in June of this year, when it exported 75,000 barrels of oil per day.
According to figures provided by Reuters, this increase occurred despite the fact that the state-owned PDVSA exported 38% less in the eighth month of 2023, mainly due to problems of that company to keep its heavy crude upgraders in service.
Likewise, this increase occurs while the authorities maintain the rationing of the sale of gasoline and diesel in the Cuban provinces, with the exception of Havana, and report frequent deficits in electricity generation due to lack of fuel.
According to ship monitoring data and internal company documents, the South American country overall has boosted oil production and exports slightly this year, helped by fewer disruptions and higher production from Chevron, under a license. US received in November.
However, PDVSA’s lack of capital, US sanctions since 2019 and poorly maintained infrastructure, including the upgraders the company uses to convert its extra-heavy oil to exportable grades, put limits on what it can do to sustain increases.
Venezuela’s oil exports in August fell to about 544,000 bpd from more than 877,000 bpd in July, according to vessel tracking data from LSEG Eikon.
China remained the top destination for most of the OPEC member’s crude and fuel exports, including cargoes transshipped through Malaysia.
Chevron shipped some 147,000 bpd of crude to its refineries and other US buyers, down from the 161,000 bpd exported in July.