Cuba, Venezuela sign new accords on oil, gas

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15 -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, have signed agreements to expand the capacity of two refineries in Cuba and to construct a third one.

Altogether, the expansion plans will see Cuba's refining capacity increased to 350,000 b/d from the current 87,000 b/d, according to a statement from Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

Under the agreements, the capacity of Cuba's Cienfuegos refinery will be stepped up to 150,000 b/d from the current 65,000 b/d, while the Hermanos Diaz refinery in Santiago will rise to 50,000 b/d from 22,000 b/d.

PDVSA said the proposed refinery in the port city of Matanzas will have a capacity of 150,000 b/d, and is to be managed by Cuvenpetrol SA—a new joint venture of PDVSA and Cuba's state-owned Cupet.

PDVSA did not reveal the respective stakes of the two sides in the joint venture or a schedule for the expansion of the existing refineries or the construction of the new one.

However, the Venezuelan firm said that Cuvenpetrol will control all refining interests in Cuba being pursued by the two countries, including the design and construction of an LNG regasification plant, gas pipelines, and other facilities.

The agreements signed this week mirror earlier ones between the two countries.

In April 2006, PDVSA entered into an agreement with Cupet to establish a joint venture company to refurbish and expand the Soviet-built facility at Cienfuegos that had been neglected since the start of the 1990s, when Soviet assistance to Cuba ended.

Under the earlier Venezuelan-Cuban JV, the refinery's capacity was initially raised to 65,000 b/d. The upgraded Cienfuegos refinery was inaugurated in late 2007 and started operations in January.

The Cienfuegos refinery is expected to close 2008 with production of 20 million bbl of fuel, according to deputy director, Raul Perez, who said the plan for the refinery envisaged output of 19.4 million bbl for the year.

Cuba imports 100,000 b/d from Venezuela in oil and products under special financial conditions that include bartering for Cuban goods or services such as doctors, teachers, and athletic trainers.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

Related Articles

Ethane supply secured for proposed W.Va. ethylene cracker

03/28/2014 Brazil-based Odebrecht SA subsidiary Odebrecht Oil & Gas SA has let a contract to Antero Resources Inc. to become the anchor ethane supplier fo...

Ineos lets contract for Grangemouth ethane terminal

03/28/2014 Ineos Europe AG, Switzerland, said it has reached the latest milestones in its $500 million survival plan to import US shale gas to its 210,000-b/d...

Maintenance underway at Jamnagar refinery

03/27/2014 Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has shut down one of three paraxylene units for planned maintenance at its 660,000-b/d Jamnagar refinery at Gujarat,...

Petronas progresses on RAPID project

03/27/2014 BMT Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd. (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd., has completed a concept design for the material offloading facility (MOLF) at sta...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected