Cuba suggests it has identified large oil field, US does not care

Cuba claims it has detected billions of barrels of oil beneath its Gulf of Mexico waters but admitted there was small desire from US exploration companies &#thirteen &#13 &#thirteen &#13 &#13   Image: AP &#thirteen &#thirteen

Cuba has unveiled new info it explained confirmed there have been billions of barrels of oil beneath its Gulf of Mexico waters but admitted there was tiny desire in new exploration even with the thaw in US relations.

The United States and Cuba have vowed to restore diplomatic relations right after more than fifty several years of animosity, but the comprehensive US trade embargo remains in location.

While US tourism, transportation and agriculture companies place on their own for Cuban organization, oil businesses have established much less eager because 3 exploratory wells came up dry in 2012. Reduced oil costs and new chances in Mexico’s liberalized oil sector are also witnessed depressing desire.

“In spite of the opening we have not encountered US company desire,” Pedro Sorzano, commercial director of point out oil monopoly CubaPetroleo (Cupet), told reporters at Cuba’s annual geological sciences conference.

Cuba hopes the discovery of oil offshore will totally free it from dependence on other countries, this kind of as socialist ally Venezuela at present and the Soviet Union earlier.

Cupet exploration director Rafael de Jesus Tenreyro mentioned the new info would be introduced at various international events.

“The research confirms the zone’s possible,” he mentioned.

For much more than a decade Communist-operate Cuba has asserted its Unique Financial Zone off the northwest coastline holds a lot more than 20bn barrels of undiscovered crude.

The US Geological Survey has approximated a much more modest 5bn to 7bn barrels.

A dozen overseas corporations have explored in excess of the several years and only the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Russia’s point out-operate Zarubezhneft nevertheless keep exploration rights, mentioned Roberto Suarez Sotolongo, Cupet’s co-director.

Jorge Pinon, an skilled on Cuban oil at the University of Texas who attended the shut-doorway conference, praised Cuba for placing “a fantastic deal of time and effort” into the new info but stated it ought to be reviewed by exterior professionals.

The absence of US curiosity so much was to be envisioned, he explained.

“Apart from the embargo there are three challenges for the Cubans. The lower value of oil, new options in Mexico’s waters and their failure to date,” Mr Pinon mentioned.

Some overseas companies are helping Cuba extract more oil along the standard northwest large oil belt, a two hundred-mile (320-km) extend of the northern coast from Havana to Villa Clara and reaching up to 3 miles (5km) offshore. It produces poor high quality oil that satisfies 40pc of the country’s needs.

Venezuela sends Cuba 115,000 barrels of oil for each day beneath favourable phrases.