Oil shipments from Venezuela to Cuba soar in October

Caracas exported 66,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and refined products to Cuba in October, an increase compared to 58,000 in September and 40,000 in August.

These figures exceed those agreed in the bilateral agreement between the governments of Cuba and Venezuela for the supply of crude oil to the Island., called Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement between Caracas and Havana, signed by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez in 2000.

The political agreement that Nicolás Maduro has continued establishes a figure of up to 53,000 bpd in compensation for the export to Venezuela of thousands of professionals, especially from the “medical missions”An agreement that many experts describe as a “disguised subsidy” from the disastrous economy of the island.

According to the Reuters agency, Those shipments came in a month when Venezuela’s oil exports rebounded and exceeded 700,000 bpd because imported diluent supplies boosted production, according to documents from state-owned PDVSA and tracking data from the Refinitiv Eikon platform.

The country’s largest oil-producing region recovered its production and blending capacity in recent weeks after Iran, one of Caracas’ most important allies, began to regularly supply condensate to dilute the extra heavy oil from the Orinoco Belt.

According to Reuters, Iranian supplies are lessening the impact of US sanctions on the country’s production.

In October, PDVSA and its joint ventures shipped 30 shipments of crude oil and refined products, mainly to Asia, including a shipment of 2,000,000 barrels of Merey heavy crude to pay Iran for the condensate received.

The second shipment of Iranian condensate from the swap agreement is expected to finish unloading from the Dorena tanker at PDVSA’s José de Venezuela port during November, according to the documents.

Venezuela’s exports averaged 711,193 bpd in October, the third highest average so far this year and a 76% increase since September, when an acute lack of diluents forced PDVSA to cut production and blending.

Larger shipments of residual fuel oil, methanol and petcoke also contributed to the increase in exports last month, according to documents and data consulted by Reuters.

Venezuela’s oil exports, which along with those of Iran are under US sanctions, designed to limit sales, have stabilized in 2021 at around 633,000 bpd, a slight increase from the 626,000 bpd in 2020, but still below the figures of previous years, when PDVSA had not been blacklisted by the United States Department of the Treasury.