Petrocaribe: Millions of USD to Regional Energy Security

Managua, Oct 25. -Petrocaribe supplies 45 percent of energy needed by the 13 Caribbean countries beneficiaries of the agreement, the only of its kind in the world, said the head of state-owned company PDVSA and minister of Energy and Oil of Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez.

Speaking at the opening session of the 7th meeting of the Ministerial Council of Petrocaribe, attended by officials of 15 nations from Latin America and the Caribbean, he pointed out that in 2011, the average oil supply stands at 98,000 barrels a day, while in 2005, when the initiative emerged, we hardly averaged 42,000 barrels a day.

He noted that the amount of products supplied in these six years reached 176 million barrels, including oil and byproducts, for a total of 14.17 billion USD.

Of that amount, 5.82 billion USD were covered by funding and compensation mechanisms established under this energy agreement, which represents an extraordinary, direct assistance for the countries of the area to face the economic crisis that is unfortunately hitting many nations on the planet, and to free ourselves from speculation and mechanisms established by transnational companies to set prices on the market, he said.

Ramirez added that with ALBA-Petrocaribe resources, at least 85 social projects have been promoted in 11 countries, and funds will also be allocated through the food fund to 12 research and infrastructure programs to support production.

The Venezuelan minister confirmed that Petrocaribe will hold a summit of heads of State and Government in Venezuela this year, as planned by President Hugo Chavez.

Created in 2005 by President Chavez, Petrocaribe supplies crude and oil b byproducts at preferential prices to Latin American and Caribbean countries, which can cancel part of their payment commitments by exporting goods and services.

The closing session of the Managua meeting, scheduled for today, is expected to be attended by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. (Prensa Latina)