Premium gasoline will only be sold to tourists in rental cars.
HAVANA TIMES – Cuba will sell premium gasoline only to tourists as of April 1, due to reduced shipments of subsidized oil from Venezuela.
The measure has not yet been made public, but an internal memo to which dpa news had access indicates the obligatory change of the state’s fleet of vehicles from premium gasoline to regular.
Most Cuban vehicles use regular, 91-octane gasoline, but more modern state-owned cars use higher grade 95 octane gasoline.
As of April 1, Cuban gas stations will only sell premium gasoline in cash and to tourists until stocks run out. Then no one will be able to buy it until further notice.
Magnetic cards used by state-owned companies to purchase premium fuel will be disabled to ensure compliance with the provision.
Throughout the day on Friday long lines of vehicles waited their turn to refuel at the service stations of Havana. Some drivers also refilled drums in anticipation of further supply cuts.
The Cuban energy system depends on the discount oil from Venezuela, which has been reduced from 100,000 barrels a day to about 55,000 according to experts, due to the economic crisis in the South American country.
The Cuban government has set its goal of producing 24 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, but this will depend on considerable external investment funds.
Currently, almost half of the country’s total energy demand is covered by national hydrocarbons, between oil and gas, which are mainly used for generating electricity. The rest has depended on Venezuela for nearly two decades.