(Reuters) – Venezuela exports oil to Cuba: Venezuela has resumed the supply of a key domestic crude to its political ally Cuba this summer, as the refining production of the South American country fell further, according to internal documents of state oil company PDVSA seen by Reuters.
Shipments, which began in June and continued through August, totaled 4.19 million barrels of Venezuela’s Mesa 30 crude, a type used to produce fuel in national refineries and to mix it with heavier oil for export.
Venezuela, which has supplied Cuba with oil since 2000, has no cash to pay for the spare parts, equipment and raw materials needed to reverse the decline in oil processing at its national refineries.
Crude production, the soul of the country, fell again in August, which pushed the OPEC member country’s annual output to its lowest level since 1950.
Since January, PDVSA has supplied Cuba with 11.74 million barrels (about 49,000 barrels per day) of crude, including foreign grades, Venezuela’s Mesa 30, heavier crudes and diluted crude oil, the documents showed. The firm had stopped Mesa shipments to the island last year due to a growing domestic need.
PDVSA earlier this year was buying Russian crude from the Urals to oil traders to supply its ally. That stopped in May, the data showed, and shortly after the company resumed Mesa’s exports.
The planning documents do not detail the services exchanged or payments for shipments to Cuba. But they chronicle the declining state of the country’s refineries amid the lack of oil.
The PDVSA refining network is expected to process 373,000 barrels per day of crude oil this month, or 29 percent of its capacity of 1,304 million bpd, according to the documents, down from 701,000 bpd in March.