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PDVSA resumes supply of Mesa crude to Cubametales

Highlights

Tanker Yare lifted 260,000 barrels Venezuelan light oil in Jan for Cuba

PDVSA also supplied Cuba with 91 RON blendstock, 0.5% sulfur diesel

Caracas, Venezuela — Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA resumed the supply of Mesa 30 light crude to Cubametales, with a shipment of 260,000 barrels transported to Havana on the Yare tanker in January, according to PDVSA documents reviewed by S&P Global Platts.

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The supply of Venezuelan Mesa 30 crude was contemplated in the agreements signed by the governments of Venezuela and Cuba.

PDVSA in 2019 did not deliver Mesa light crude as per the terms of the original deal because it had been using it as a diluent for extra heavy crude pumped in the Orinoco Belt due to the impossibility of importing light crude or naphtha. To replace Mesa, PDVSA last year delivered to Cubametales Zuata 300, DCO (diluted crude oil) Merey 16, Lagomar and Lagotreco crudes.

Also, PDVSA in January sent 50,000 barrels of 91 RON blendstock and 200,000 barrels of 0.5% sulfur diesel to Cuba in the Alicia tanker, refined products that were previously purchased from third parties to comply with the bilateral agreements, the PDVSA documents showed.

Price information was not available, nor was there any information about the supply of fuel oil and Merey 16 crude, both included in the supply agreements, in exchange for medical services and technical advice from Cuba.

PDVSA supplied a total of 17.395 million barrels of crude oil, fuel oil and refined products to Cubametales in 2019, which represents 50% (44,000 b/d of oil equivalent) compliance to the crude and equivalents agreed upon by Venezuela and Cuba, according to previous reports.

PDVSA's oil supply to Cuba has not been interrupted despite US sanctions, the fall in oil production, the paralysis of local refineries and difficulties in exporting. However, supply has been erratic and constantly changing in terms of volumes and the types of products.

The US Treasury Department in November sanctioned Corporacion Panamericana, a Havana-based company, for acting as an intermediary for Cubametales, a Cuban company already subject to US sanctions, in oil and gasoline trades prohibited by US sanctions.

The department on July 3 sanctioned Cubametales for continuing to import crude and other products from Venezuela in exchange for helping the Nicolas Maduro regime with defense and security.

Neither Cubametales, which exports and imports metals, fuels and lubricants, nor PDVSA were available for comment.