Energy News  





. Analysis: Cuba boasts of huge oil reserve

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Carmen Gentile
Miami (UPI) Oct 22, 2008
Cuban energy officials say the communist island may have more than 20 billion barrels of oil in offshore deposits, more than twice what U.S. geological officials estimated.

Production at the allegedly giant reserves off the northern shores of Cuba could begin sometime next year, according to state-run energy company Cubapetroleo -- or Cupnet, as it is better known -- which released information about the findings.

Cupnet Exploration Manager Rafael Tenreyro Perez said their estimate, which more than doubles the size of the reserves predicted by American surveys to be 9 billion, is more accurate because of their precise knowledge of the seabed in the region.

Numerous foreign energy firms are eager to begin drilling off the coast of Cuba. However, U.S. petroleum companies are forbidden from doing business with the country because of the longstanding American trade embargo against the communist island.

Spanish firm Repsol has led a group of interested oil companies in already drilling the first test well. Brazilian oil giant Petrobras is a likely candidate to lead the drilling off Cuban shores because of its expertise in deepwater production.

Russia also figures to be a player in the race for Cuban oil. Earlier this week, following days of bilateral talks in Havana, Russian officials said they were eager to help Cuba rebuild its energy sector and would help the country acquire a fleet of oil tankers.

Relations between the former Cold War allies deteriorated after the collapse of the Soviet Union, though in recent months Moscow has signaled its interest in restoring those ties.

Last year Venezuela helped Cuba restore operations at a Soviet-era oil refinery, a relic of the Soviet Union's sway over Cuba until its decline in the late 1980s.

The refinery had been dormant since then, though with the help of Venezuela and some $136 million in repairs funded by Caracas, the plant went back online in December 2007.

The Camilo Cienfuegos refinery currently is operating at 60 percent capacity, according to the University of Miami's Cuban Studies program.

Cuban officials have lauded the return of operations at Cienfuegos, though some speculate the plant may still need more work before becoming fully operational, because of its longtime dormancy.

"It was a mess, that refinery," said Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington and noted expert on Cuba.

Meanwhile, five international oil companies have paid reserve fees to the Cuban government to secure exploration rights.

Last year, during the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Cuba's potentially lucrative offshore oil reserves one day could catapult the island onto the world petroleum stage and maybe even earn the country a place in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Fidel is headed for OPEC," said Chavez jokingly during the meeting, which drew representatives from 118 countries, including more than 50 world leaders. "He is finding oil."

Some analysts are skeptical about the hype surrounding the supposed untapped oil wealth that could springboard Cuba from impoverished communist state to self-sufficiency and financial windfall.

"It's been a big smoke screen for a long time. ... The Soviets used to say there were large deposits off the shores of Cuba, though it hasn't been proven," Maurcio Claver-Carone, a member of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee, told UPI.

Claver-Carone also contends that Castro used the basin as a means of promoting foreign investment in Cubapetroleo, Cuba's state-owned oil company.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Outside View: Russia's 'curse of the well'
Moscow (UPI) Oct 22, 2008
It is not surprising that oil prices have fallen; this was bound to happen, sooner or later. What is surprising is that the Russian authorities and oil companies failed to forecast the fall and prepare for it.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Ducker Worldwide Predicts Problems For US Wind Power Industry
  • London's First Biogas Fueling Station Installed
  • EESTECH And Aryan Clean Coal Technologies Establish Joint Venture
  • Analysis: Cuba boasts of huge oil reserve

  • Going down! French engineers hunt radioactive elevator buttons
  • RWE eyes nuclear projects outside Germany: report
  • Swedish reactor halted after flaw found at similar plant: agency
  • Czech nuclear plant shuts after turbine fault

  • Measuring The Weight Of Ancient Air
  • On Rocky Mountain Beetle Kill Could Impact Regional Air Quality
  • An Explanation For Night-Shining Clouds At The Edge Of Space
  • Seabird Ammonia Emissions Contribute To Atmospheric Acidity

  • ESA Leads The Way To Map Boreal Forest
  • SKorea announces new 14.2 bln dlr plan to develop wetlands
  • When It Comes To Forest Soil, Wildfires Pack 1-2 Punch
  • EU seeks tougher rules on illegal logging

  • Tuna under threat in key SE Asia ecosystem: WWF
  • Syrian grain output strangled by drought
  • Researchers Turning Freshwater Farm Ponds Into Crab Farms
  • Crop Diversity Key To Ensuring Global Food Supply

  • Analysis: Linking cars to grid cuts CO2
  • Taiwan's bicycle makers riding high amid global financial crisis
  • Software thwarts mobile phone chatting while driving
  • Beijing's new traffic rules fail to curb gridlock, pollution

  • Energy Department has high school contest
  • Researchers Scientists Perform High Altitude Experiments
  • Airbus expecting 'large' China order by early 2009: CEO
  • Airbus globalises production with China plant



  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement