Russia’s state oil company Rosneft, has signed an agreement with Cuba’s state-run Cubametals to supply 250,000 tonnes of oil and diesel fuel.
The agreement, signed on Wednesday, means that for the first time this century, Russia will be supplying the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island with large quantities of oil as supplies for Venezuela have dwindled.
According to Reuters, a Russian tanker with 249,000 barrels of refined products is due to arrive here on May 10.
Reuters quotes Jorge Pinon, an oil expert at the University of Texas as saying that Cuba consumes 22,000 barrel per day of diesel and 140,000 barrels per day of oil products.
“It is very clear that Cuba is diversifying its long-term supply contracts in the event that its October 2000 subsidized oil agreement with Venezuela is terminated,” Pinon said.
In recent years, Cuba has relied on cash-strapped Venezuela for about 70 per cent of its fuel needs.
However Venezuela’s subsidized shipments have fallen by as much as 40 per cent since 2014.