Home » Mexico Emerges as Major Supplier of Crude Oil to Cuba, Sending Oil Worth $200 Million This Year

Mexico Emerges as Major Supplier of Crude Oil to Cuba, Sending Oil Worth $200 Million This Year

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Mexico Emerges as Major Supplier of Crude Oil to Cuba, Sending Oil Worth $200 Million This Year

Mexico Emerges as Major Supplier of Crude Oil to Cuba, Sending Oil Worth $200 Million

According to calculations by the Energy Institute of the University of Texas, Mexico has sent approximately $200 million worth of oil to Cuba this year. The data obtained by the Spanish agency EFE reveals that Mexican state-owned company Mexican Petroleum (Pemex) has positioned itself as one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to Cuba, a country highly dependent on energy imports from allies Venezuela and Russia.

Since March, Cuba has received a total of 2.81 million barrels of crude oil from Pemex, as stated by the study. The report, compiled by cross-referencing data from oil tanker monitoring platforms with market prices, indicates that the latest shipment arrived on September 16. The Cuban-flagged tanker Vilma brought 350,000 barrels of crude oil worth $29.4 million from Veracruz to the port of Cienfuegos.

Previous oil shipments include 465,000 barrels worth $36.2 million in August and 730,000 barrels worth $49.4 million in July. The details of these oil transactions, whether they were donations or part of long-term credit or bilateral agreements, have not been disclosed.

Alicia Barcena, the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, recently stated that the Mexican government is exploring options to charge Cuba for the fuel it sends. She emphasized the pressure that providing humanitarian aid to the island has put on Mexico’s public finances, especially with the current rise in crude oil prices.

The Mexican government is evaluating the possibility of selling Pemex crude oil to Cuba instead of donating it. However, this option is not without challenges due to US sanctions. It should be noted that the donations were made through Mexico’s International Development Cooperation Agency.

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In June, it emerged that Mexico diverted crude oil to Cuba. 350,000 barrels of oil were sent without complying with the corresponding legal regulations. The fuel was unloaded onto the Cuban-flagged ship Delsa at the Pajaritos Logistics Terminal in Coatzacoalcos. However, the shipment was acquired and invoiced to a company named “Gasolinas del Bienestar SA de CV” in Mexico City, when the actual destination was Havana.

Cuba is currently facing a deep crisis due to a lack of fuel, resulting in frequent and prolonged blackouts. The country’s energy matrix relies heavily on fossil fuels, with 95% dependence. The Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy, recently announced looming blackouts in October due to a deficit of up to 700 MW. However, he denied claims that the country was at “zero fuel,” acknowledging that the government has been buying crude oil almost daily in a saturated market.

Jorge Piñon, a Cuba specialist and researcher at the University of Texas Energy Institute, stated that Cuba has not received Russian crude oil for several months, while Venezuelan daily shipments have decreased from 100,000 barrels since 2016 to approximately 57,000 barrels at present.

In response to the energy crisis, the Cuban government announced drastic measures aimed at reducing electricity consumption and promoting the rational use of energy carriers. These measures are intended to alleviate the energy crisis currently plaguing the country.

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