October 7, 2017 / 2:08 PM / 7 months ago

Russia's Rosneft says in talks to expand Cuban oil activities

MOSCOW, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Russian oil major Rosneft said on Saturday it was looking to expand cooperation with Cuba and that Chief Executive Igor Sechin had discussed the matter with a visiting delegation that included Alfredo Lopez, Cuba’s energy minister.

Russia already supplies some oil and oil products to Cuba and Rosneft said in a statement the two men had discussed increasing deliveries, joint extraction projects, and possible cooperation to modernise Cuba’s Cienfuegos oil refinery.

Russia earlier this year began shipping large quantities of oil to Cuba for the first time this century, sources said in May, as supplies to the island from crisis-torn Venezuela have dwindled.

Cuba had relied on Venezuela, an OPEC member, for about 70 percent of its fuel needs, including oil for refining and re-exports. But socialist Venezuela’s subsidised shipments have fallen by as much as 40 percent since 2014 and Cuba is looking for new suppliers to help mitigate electricity and fuel rationing to state companies.

Rosneft said in May it had signed an agreement with Cuba’s state-run Cubametals to supply 250,000 tonnes of oil and diesel fuel. (Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alison Williams)

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