Dominica is among countries that may be affected by a decision to cut petroleum deliveries from Venezuela by Petroleos de Venezuela South America (PDVSA), according to a report by S&P Global Platts, which describes itself as “the leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy and commodities markets.”

According to the report, the Venezuelan Oil Ministry said on Tuesday this week that PDVSA, is indefinitely suspending a combined 38,000 barrels of refined products to a number of Caribbean countries under the Petrocaribe agreement.

PDVSA also reported that the decision is primarily due to falling crude production and low refinery utilization.

But PDVSA has described the report as fake and has refuted claims that Petro Caribe is suspending its operations in Dominica and seven other Caribbean islands.

There were reports on Tuesday from Venezuela that Dominica is among countries that will suffer from a cut in petroleum deliveries from Venezuela.

But the Board of Petro Caribe is denying the report, calling it “fake news”.

PDVESA has indicated that it is not ending and will not discontinue its special sale of petroleum products to the eight countries that support Venezuela at the OAS.

Venezuela has just written off Dominica’s outstanding US$100-million PetroCaribe debt in a gesture of solidarity between the two countries in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The PetroCaribe initiative was started by Venezuela’s late President, Hugo Chavez. It is an alliance between Venezuela and a number of Caribbean countries where oil is purchased on condition of preferential payment.

The report had originally said that apart from Dominica, the move will affect half of the Caribbean countries in the Petrocaribe agreement, including Belize, Dominica, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and St. Kitts, the report showed.

Under the PetroCaribe agreement, Venezuela sells petroleum to Central American and Caribbean nations on favorable terms.

The suspension in some Petrocaribe shipments is a major second blow to Venezuela’s hobbled oil industry in the past week, according to S&P Global Platts.

Venezuela inaugurated the plan in 2005 with Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The original agreement contemplated a supply of up to 185,000 barrels per dollar of crude oil and products under preferential conditions.

The S&P Global Platts report said that PDVSA stated that in June it will continue to supply 45,600 barrels of refined products to Cuba, which has been one of the countries that have benefited the most from the PetroCaribe agreement, receiving average deliveries from PDVSA of 95,000 barrels of crude and refined products.

At least one company in the Petrocaribe agreement has responded to the report.

The Antigua-based West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) has said it has received no notification from PDVSA on the matter.

“In any event, even if it were the case that PDVSA had suspended shipments, WIOC is not reliant on fuel supplies from PDVSA for the petroleum requirements of Antigua and Barbuda. Indeed, WIOC has always diversified its sources for our range of petroleum products and therefore utilizes a number of suppliers,” the company said in a statement. “WIOC assures the Antigua and Barbuda public that it is fully serviced by its suppliers and it is able now and, in the future, to meet demand. Consequently, there is no need for concern.”

DNO made several attempts to contact PDV Caribe (Dominica) Ltd but all proved futile.