Gamechanger In US-Cuba Relations – Massive Oil Discovery off Cuba

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Cuba is the only country in the world to have already learned how to live with the end of the age of oil. After the US oil embargo of Cuba, the country had to fend for itself, creating an almost completely oil-free economy.

The blockaded nation went on to radically reinvent agriculture, and evolved a fix-it economy that rivaled that of the US during the Great Depression. Mechanics learned the skills needed to fix up the old 1950s cars that remained on the island, miraculously keeping them going on the occasional trickle of oil, for decades after they had become mere museum pieces in the US.

But now, in an ironic turn of events, nearly 5 billion barrels of oil is likely to be in the bedrock off Cuba’s north coast, according to US Geological Survey estimates. This will be enough to make the island a major energy player in the region, according to Ordons News. Cuba’s own geological studies find there might be as much as 20 billion barrels. Petrobras withdrew its plans to drill there recently, suggesting that the lower estimate is the more accurate figure.

The first exploratory drilling is planned, just 60 miles off the Florida coast. The Swedish company Repsol, in a consortium with Norway’s Statoil and a unit of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp, plans to start drilling offshore Cuba by the end of the summer.

Oil companies from Malaysia, Norway, India and several other nations have also signed exploratory drilling agreements, and Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said during a Havana visit recently that his country stands ready to help.

The US, not so much. A conference in Washington last month on safe drilling practices included most of the oil-drilling nations of the world. Cuba was not invited. The oil blockade that President Kennedy set in place, lingers on. But this development is sure to change the equation.

“The question is how you minimize the risk, and there’s only one way to minimize the risk, and that is to have the kind of collaboration with Cuba that we have with Mexico or the Bahamas or any other country that is exploring for oil in a way that is potentially damaging to the US,” John McAuliff, Fund for Reconciliation and Development told Ordons.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

Related articles

Oil and Gas Industry Leads Global Corruption Index: US More Corrupt than Qatar
Obama Outwits Opponents: Forces Feds to Cut Gas Use 21%


Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica TV Video


I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
 
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
 
Thank you!

Advertisement
 
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.