Russia sent its first oil shipment to Cuba in a year.


Ship loaded with Russian oil to Cuba

HAVANA.- Russia sent a ship to Cuba with 650,000 barrels of crude oil – worth about $50 million – to ease its energy crisis, which has affected half the territory and which has swelled to more than 10 hours a day. Is.

According to data made available to EFE through oil tanker tracking platforms by the Energy Institute of the University of Texas (USA), the tanker departed from Russian territory on March 9 and is estimated to reach Matanzas (western Cuba) at the end of the month. , According to the same source, this is the first shipment of crude oil from Moscow to Havana in more than a year.

The departure follows several weeks of high-level official visits between the two countries. The most recent visit came just days before the island’s Foreign Trade Minister Ricardo Cabrissus visited the Eurasian country.

For his part, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, was in Cuba in February.

During Cabrisas’s stay in Moscow, according to the state agency Prensa Latina, Russia granted a new loan to Havana for an undisclosed amount to “guarantee a steady supply of oil, petroleum products, wheat and fertilizers.”

Shipment from Venezuela

The Cuban government has recently assured that part of the problems in electricity production are explained by the decline in crude oil imports from allied countries.

Although the island’s executive has not named it, maritime traffic tracking data points to Venezuela and Russia in the area.

In the first two months of the year, Caracas has exported an average of just 35,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Cuba, according to the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, which is down from an average of 57,000 in 2023 and a sidereal distance away. 100,000 bpd of 2016.

The lack of exports from Russia over the past year has also had an impact, especially after exporting almost one million barrels in 2022.

Similarly, the data shows that Mexico – which, although it has not fully filled the gap to Moscow – sent more than 5 million barrels to the island last year, with a total value of $391 million.

Asked about this by EFE, Cuban academic Jorge Piñon, a researcher at the University of Texas Energy Institute, described the situation as a “bottleneck” originating in Venezuela. And he assured that after a fire at the main fuel storage center in Matanzas in 2022, storage problems will add to the import problems.

blackout in cuba

Cuba’s electricity system largely depends on fossil fuels to run.

However, their production plants exceed their programmed life expectancy – they exceed 40 years – and are constantly shut down due to malfunctions or repairs.

Curtailments due to production losses have increased significantly since the beginning of the year.

Cuba’s Energy and Mines Minister, Vicente de la O Levy, told official media this week that “the situation will partially improve” in the coming days but that there will be “tense” and “serious” moments due to Cuba’s financial difficulties. Getting oil from abroad.


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