Energy & Environment

Cuba to Auction Prospecting Access to 200 B Barrels of Oil Just 90 Miles Away From the US

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Experts from Cuba’s CUPET oil company and the National Petroleum Corporation of China (BGP Inc.) told attendees at the Third Annual “Cuba Energy, Oil & Gas” conference currently underway in Havana that Cuba is launching the first rounds of its auction to access 24 drilling blocks where 200 billion barrels of oil are estimated to exist. Some 60 billion of those barrels are located in the deep-water “Florida-Bahamas” zone, just a few miles south of both, within waters pertaining to Cuba.

United States’ oil companies will be unable to access the oil due to the isolationist policies imposed by their government. The willingness of this powerful sector to tolerate that situation remains an open question. Russian and Chinese oil companies face no such barriers and are expected to operate free of US competition.

The announcement came on the same day that the U.S. government announced new sanctions to block the sale of petroleum to Cuba by Venezuela.

The area to be opened to prospecting covers 27,000 square kilometers and is located in the sea between Varadero and the Guanacahabibes peninsula. It includes waters just north of the country’s western geographic section belonging to the country’s economic zone.

China’s BGP, a world leader in geophysical services, offered their presentations in conjunction with Cuban geophysicists from the CUPET oil company during a series of pre-conference workshops yesterday. The oil estimated to exist within the blocks to be auctioned has been extensively studied by specialists from both companies.

The Cuba Energy, Oil and Gas (2019) conference formally opens today.

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