Govt Admits Jamaica Faces $39bn Bump in Oil Bill


State Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Fayval Williams, is conceding that the government will have to pay as much as $39-billion up front for oil this year.

A report by Nationwide News last evening estimated that cost would be around $37-billion, due to a drastic decline in oil imports from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe programme.

Mrs. Williams says Jamaica already had to pay $26-billion up front for last year, as supply from Venezuela had already been dwindling.

[audio_mp3 url=”″]

As a result, this year the additional burden to the government will be about $3-billion.

The revelation comes a week after Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, revealed that Jamaica’s oil imports from Venezuela had fallen from 24,000 to just over 1,000 barrels a day.

It’s one of the results of the social and political crisis the South American country is experiencing.

Mrs. Williams says oil imports from Venezuela dropped to 1 million barrels last year.

She says this year, that amount could fall to half a million barrels, resulting in Jamaica importing more oil from other sources.

[audio_mp3 url=”″]

Jamaica is among 17 countries that benefit from the Petrocaribe arrangement with Venezuela.

It allows us to pay a percentage of the oil price upfront and the rest over a period of 25 years at 1 per cent interest.


Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.

One thought on “Govt Admits Jamaica Faces $39bn Bump in Oil Bill

Comments are closed.