Paulwell optimistic Venezuelan oil supply under PetroCaribe will soon improve
Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell says he believes oil supplies to Jamaica from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe Agreement should improve shortly despite the current political instability in the South American country.
Yesterday Foreign Trade Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said that Jamaica has been getting only 1,300 barrels of oil per day from Venezuela.
This is significantly fewer than the 23,000 barrels expected under the PetroCaribe deal.
However, the former Energy Minister says the reduction in oil supply is due to efforts by the Venezuelans to work out the correct specification of crude oil that is required by Jamaica.
Paulwell says oil supplies should return to 24,000 — 25,000 barrels per day when this is done.
In the meantime, Paulwell says a change in administration in Venezuela may cause changes in the PetroCaribe deal.
The Venezuelan opposition has always voiced its aversion to the arrangement.
IN PHOTO: Kamina Johnson Smith
Meanwhile, Johnson-Smith said the Government has been seeking other sources on the world market to fill the gap left by the shortfall from Venezuela.
She said the Cabinet last week appointed a special committee to review matters related to the PetroCaribe arrangement and trade with Venezuela.
A report is be presented to the Cabinet at its next meeting.
Pressure has been mounting on Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to resign, with critics charging that he is moving towards a dictatorship.
This has sparked wide-scale protests on the streets of Venezuela.