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Venezuela and Russia assist Cuba to manage fuel shortage

President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, right, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a press conference at the Revolution Palace in Havana on Thursday. Photo credit: Reuters

By BO Staff Writer

Since September this year, about eight tankers carrying 3.83 million barrels of crude oil and fuel was sent by Venezuela to help address the energy shortages in Cuba brought about by the US economic and financial embargo.

Consequently Venezuelan crude oil exports to Cuba rose by about 143,000 barrels day day. which has allowed that there are no longer long lines at gas stations, although diesel is still scarce.

The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit also sent a signal the island is not alone. On Friday, he traveled to the first Cuban horizontal oil well, an infrastructure which is being built by Zarubezhneft and Cubapetroleo oil companies.

From 3 to 4 October 2019, Eugeniy Murov, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zarubezhneft JSC which is a Russian state-controlled oil company; and Sergey Kudryashov, the General Director of Zarubezhneft JSC were part of the visit by the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez.

As part of the official visit Kudryashov met with the top leaders of the Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mining, and the Ministry of External Trade and Foreign Investments. He also met with the top leadership of the “Cuba Oil Union” (Cupet).

Russia is working with Cuba towards minimizing the country’s dependence on importation of crude oil. “During the meeting Sergey Kudryashov has told of current activities in the framework of the enhanced oil recovery methods integration at the heavy high-viscosity bituminous oil field Boca de Jaruco. Sergey Kudryashov has also expressed confidence in the prospects of further cooperation and confirmed the interest in implementation of joint projects”, said Zarubezhneft JSC in a statement released on its website on 3 October.

Cuba’s domestic oil production meets 40 percent of the country’s current energy needs. The other 60 percent is generally met by importing fuel from allied countries like Venezuela, Russia, and Algeria. Notwithstanding increasing international cooperation, Cuba still experiences challenges owing to the U.S. economic and financial embargo.