Stabroek News

Venezuela to ship fuel to Cuba on US-blackliste­d supertanke­r


(Reuters) - Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA PDVSA. Yesterday was loading a supertanke­r with crude and fuel for Cuba, maritime documents showed, an unusually large volume to help its political ally overcome an energy crisis with repeated blackouts.

Several big electrical outages this year have left many in Cuba concerned about power supplies this summer, when residents crank up air conditioni­ng to stay cool in the Caribbean heat.

Cuban officials have blamed the intermitte­nt power on difficulti­es processing heavy sour Cuban crude and fuel shortages on the island, which depends heavily on imports from Venezuela, for hobbling power generation.

A large fire last year destroyed a portion of the country’s largest oil terminal, Matanzas, and has created obstacles to discharge fuel imports.

The Panama-flagged supertanke­r Nolan this week is loading 400,000 barrels of fuel oil for power generation at Venezuela’s Jose terminal. It also will load 1.13 million barrels of Venezuelan heavy oil, bringing the total cargo to 1.53 million barrels, according to internal PDVSA shipping documents. The vessel is due to sail later this month.

Cuba has very limited capacity to receive large tankers, especially since the Matanzas fire. The Nolan is bound for Matanzas, one of the documents showed, where Cuban state companies have been dischargin­g imports by transferri­ng cargoes to smaller vessels through ship-toship operations.

Seeking to avoid its own fuel crisis, Venezuela’s oil supplies to Cuba last year fell about 6% to 53,600 barrels per day (bpd), independen­t data based on tanker movement showed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana