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Jamaica replacing discountinuation of PetroCaribe's oil by fuels from Petrotrin



By Jamaica Observer

Petroleumworld 06 20 2018

Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley says that a discontinuation of the sale of crude oil to Jamaica by Venezuela would have no effect on the availability of petroleum here.

Dr Wheatley told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the last shipment of petroleum products Jamaica received from Venezuela was in May 2017.

“It wouldn't affect us if we do not get any crude from Venezuela, because for a little over a year now we have not been getting any crude oil, and we have been buying petroleum products from Petrotrin (Trinidad and Tobago), and crude from the Gulf area and countries like Ecuador,” he said.

Wheatley was responding to contradictory reports coming out of the Eastern Caribbean, suggesting that Venezuela may be discontinuing the sale of petroleum products under the PetroCaribe agreement within the region.

A report was carried by the Antigua Observer on Wednesday, stating that the move comes as a result of falling crude production and low refinery utilisation. However, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda described the report as “fake news” according to the Caribbean Media Corporation .

But yesterday, Dominica News Online reported that the Caribbean island was among countries that “may be affected by a decision to cut petroleum deliveries from Venezuela by Petroleos de Venezuela South America (PDVSA)”.

Dominica News Online attributed its article to a report carried by S&P Global Platts, a leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy market. The report said that the Venezuelan oil ministry stated Tuesday that PDVSA would be indefinitely suspending a combined 38,000 barrels of refined products to a number of Caribbean countries under the PetroCaribe agreement.

It said that PDVSA also reported that the decision was primarily due to falling crude production and low refinery utilisation.

The story said that, apart from Dominica, the move would affect half of the Caribbean countries in the PetroCaribe agreement, including Belize, Dominica, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and St Kitts.

It added that “the suspension in some PetroCaribe shipments” would be a major second blow to Venezuela's hobbled oil industry.

But, according to an Antiguan Government statement following their Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the board of PetroCaribe has said that PDVSA is not ending and will not discontinue its special sale of petroleum products.

According to the board the “fake news” identified the eight Organisation of American States (OAS) member states that did not support a resolution to discontinue Venezuela's membership in the OAS, and which are also recipients of the PetroCaribe agreement.

The statement quoted the PetroCaribe Board as saying “a writing will be forthcoming pointing out the fakeness of the story”.

Dominica News Online said that the S&P Global Platts report pointed out that PDVSA stated in June it would supply 45,600 barrels of refined products to Cuba, which has been one of the main beneficiaries from the PetroCaribe agreement, receiving average deliveries from PDVSA of 95,000 barrels of crude and refined products.

PDVSA has been operating its refineries below capacity because of a shortage of crude feedstock and various unscheduled shutdowns. This month, the company plans to process 499,000 barrels through its refining system, or 31 per cent of its 1.6 million capacity.


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Story from Jamaica Observer
06 15 2018

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