Cuba hitting oil production goals
"The country is in a position to fulfil its plan for extracting almost four million tons of petroleum and gas this year; we are now reaching our foreseen production goals, which we should begin to achieve regularly," explained Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage Dávila. He spoke during a visit on Saturday to the Ã‘ico López refinery in Havana, where he verified technological advances at that operation that have saved the country considerable savings in fuel.
Lage, who is also the secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, assured that progress is going well in the drilling of oil wells, work that will allow the slowing of the decline of some existing wells and will increase the levels of crude oil obtained.
Lage remarked that the rise of the price of a barrel of petroleum at the world level also affects the national budget, noting that "though we maintain a contract with Venezuela, which yields us favorable commercial conditions, the country has to buy certain quantity of fuels on the international market. For that reason conservation is one of our fundamental tasks at this time."
The country saved almost a million liters of fuel in two months thanks to the automation of Terminal 221 of Havanas Ã‘ico López Refinery - which also allows a considerable decrease in time at the operations and prevents acts of corruption, he noted.
Lage, along with Havana party-head Pedro Sáez Montejo and Basic Industry Minister Yadira García, spoke with workers and leaders of the renovated facility for several hours.
The project of integral automation was carried out in only nine months, and at a cost of more than $4 million dollars. The work was performed by the workers there at the refinery, who simultaneously continued to lend their regular services, something that Carlos Lage characterized as a true feat of labor.
With the previous system, that same terminal lost up to 500,000 liters of fuel a month and required more than 120 trucks to transport the same quantity that it now moves with only 40 vehicles.
With the implementation of the new system, losses have decreased to 40,000 liters monthly and the time to fill trucks has been reduced from about 40 minutes to now only 12 - which speeds up the operation considerably.
The innovations also include the companys closed circuit television system, state-of-the-art equipment for the detection of fires and explosive mixtures, and a system for environmental protection. Likewise, tank can now be filled from below.
"Previously, the tanks were filled from above and the process was controlled by a person, which facilitated the escape of vapour into the atmosphere and made it easier for theft. That was eliminated, because now the supply is recorded by modern computerized equipment," explained project engineer Julio Ochoa to the visitors.
"This initiative responds to an automation strategy that we will extend to all the management of the Cuba Union of Petroleum (CUPET), and it is the cutting edge of world technology," said automation specialist Osmel Reyes.
During the gathering and tour, Lage and his entourage received detailed explanations about the plan for environmental remediation that is carried out in the Ã‘ico López refinery. This work, in addition to eliminating some sources of pollution, has allowed the recovery from the Havana Bay of nearly 17,000 barrels of hydrocarbons - valued at more than $900,000 dollars.
Source: By Norge Martínez, Juventud Rebelde