HAVANA, Oct. 3th. Venezuela increased oil exports to Cuba in September to figures not seen in all of 2023. According to data from the state-run PDVSA, in the ninth month of the year shipments to the Island reached 86,000 barrels per day (bpd), including crude oil, fuel oil, diesel and gasoline.
That amount, mentioned by Reuters in a report based on PDVSA documents and ship tracking data, represents an increase of more than 21,000 bpd compared to the 65,000 shipped last August.
In this regard, Jorge Piñón, principal researcher at the Energy Institute of the University of Texas, warned that this volume of shipments also corresponds to the shipments that two Cuban tankers are currently transporting to the Island and that they will arrive during the current month of October.
Our editorial team verified through the ship tracking site Marine Traffic that the Sandino left the Venezuelan oil terminal of Jose on September 26 and is on its way to the Island, while the Petition left Puerto La Cruz on the 30th of the same month. , also heading to the Island.
So far this year, shipments to Cuba have fluctuated: 40,000 bpd in January; 52,000 in February; 70,000 in March; 45,000 in April; 58,000 in May; 75,000 in June; 53,000 in July and 56,000 in August. This includes crude oil of the Mesa, Merey and Leona varieties; fuel oil and other fuels.
But this is not enough. The chronic electricity crisis that the Island is experiencing worsened this Monday, when the state Electrical Union (UNE) predicted a blackout of 890MW, equivalent to around 30% of national consumption, only due to a generation deficit.
The deficit figures are worse on Monday than in recent days, when blackouts have occurred in various territories. According to the UNE, on Monday the availability during peak night hours will be 2,180 MW, given a maximum demand of 3,000MW.
Likewise, the Turkish swamps connected to the Melones substation, in the Bay of Havana, do not operate due to lack of fuel. Only due to distributed generation, 904MW are not available due to breakdowns and another 185MW are under maintenance.
Last week, the Cuban Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy, acknowledged that the fuel shortage would lead to daily electricity deficits of at least 700MW and would also force the paralysis of part of transportation and send employees to do teleworking.
According to the official, this is because “we have suppliers and countries that have not been able to comply and that have breached (fuel supply) contracts. We have had to go out and buy almost the fuel for the day.”
“It’s going to be a period. In the month of October it will improve,” he assured. “There are negotiations and there is concrete progress that we are going to receive a quantity of fuel, but we are not going to have the fuel we had, much less what we need. The main problem is with diesel and fuel oil,” he specified.
Cuba consumed about 110,000 bpd in 2022, so it needs imports to compensate for insufficient national production.
However, last September Venezuela’s sales were the second highest in 2023, exceeding 800,000 bpd, after PDVSA and its joint ventures recovered production, particularly in the Orinoco Belt.
According to the Reuters report, Venezuela has been increasing overall crude oil production and exports this year, but with fluctuations from month to month amid recurring power outages, maintenance problems and lack of investment to expand production.
In September, PDVSA and its partners shipped an average of 812,000 bpd of crude oil and fuel, mainly to China, directly and through transshipment centers.
Chevron’s Venezuelan oil exports to the United States last month fell to about 145,000 bpd, from 147,000 bpd in August.