Algeria is sending crude oil to Cuba for the first time to help offset lower supplies from the island’s closest ally, Venezuela. Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach plans to ship about 515,00 barrels of crude to Cuba in October, with a possible second cargo loading in November or December, Reuters informed.
It is reported that the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), will be mediating the Algerian crude sale to Cuba’s Cienfuegos refinery, in which it holds a 49% stake, according to Rigzone.
Cuba and Algeria have maintained a close relationship in recent years. The island annually imports about $200m to $300m of oil products from the African country, including some purchases of naphtha. But Cuba relies almost exclusively on Venezuela, also a member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), for its crude supplies through a 15-year-old assistance program that Caracas has been struggling to maintain as power cuts, lack of investment and payment delays slash its oil output. As a result, Venezuelan crude supplies to Cuba have declined by 40% in the first half of 2016.