Cuba mulls additional energy-saving measures
Published March 10, 2011
Havana – A top Cuban oil official said the island may enact additional
energy-saving measures to offset a spike in international crude prices.
In remarks Wednesday night on state television, an executive with state
oil company Cuba Petroleo, Rafael Tenreyro, said high oil prices provide
"an additional incentive" for bolstering existing energy-conservation
measures, without providing specifics.
He said the international situation is "very uncertain" and it "is
impossible to predict how much more the prices will rise," although most
experts expect they will remain high over the coming months.
A week ago, Cuba's Communist government raised the prices of gasoline
and diesel by between 4 percent and 8 percent, the second hike in less
than six months.
Large residential consumers also have seen their electricity rates rise
by between 15 percent and 285 percent since last November.
State television also reported that unrest in several Arab countries has
had an impact on global markets and affected the price of food and other
It cited analysts as saying the per-barrel price of oil could climb
higher than $200, which would have "serious consequences" amid a global
Cuba produced some 4 million tons of oil and natural gas in 2010, most
of which is used to generate electricity. According to official figures,
the island produces 80,000 barrels of oil daily, which covers 50 percent
of domestic consumption.
The island also receives around 100,000 bpd from oil-rich Venezuela at
concessionary prices and the leftist government in Caracas allows its
ally to pay for part of the crude with the services of Cuban medical
personnel and educators working on projects in the Andean nation.