The Islamic Post Blog

Cuba Announces 20 Billion Barrel Oil Find by Khalida
December 1, 2008, 12:47 am
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Latino/Caribe

By Safiyah A. Khafidh
Islamic Post Staff Writer

Cuba recently announced the find of an offshore oil belt in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to hold resources of 20 billion barrels of oil. This amount of oil, on par with U.S. reserves, has the “potential for giant and super giant oil fields,” according to Rafael Tenreyro Perez, Cuba’s exploration manager at the state’s oil company Cubapetroleo, or Cupet. Contrary to this information is a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) which estimates that Cuba’s offshore oil fields contain no more than 9 billion barrels of oil. However, Christopher Schenk, leader of the USGS study, acknowledged that the US trade embargo against Cuba prevented the USGS from having access to Cuba’s figures. He also noted that the Cuban geologists were “really good,” and if they had Cuba’s numbers they would raise their estimates. Tenreyro explained that Cuba’s higher estimates are based on the availability of more and better data of the offshore ecology. “We have more data. I’m almost certain that if they ask for all the data we have, (their estimate) is going to grow considerably,” said Tenreyro.  Cupets’ conclusions are based on comparisons to similar geological structures found in Mexico’s huge Cantarell oil field, in the Bay of Campeche. He further states that “All these geological elements indicate that we are talking about a new oil province, an oil zone that has not been drilled nor has it been touched.”
Cuba is currently producing only half of its needs, 60,000 barrels a day, all based onshore. Venezuela supplies the remainder under a barter agreement in which Cuba supplies doctors and sports instructors.
.Apparently, Cuba’s find has far reaching implications. It would place the island in the world’s top 20 oil producers. “It would change their whole equation. The government would have more money and no longer be dependent on foreign oil. It could join the club of oil exporting nations,” said Kirby Jones, founder of the U.S. -Cuba Trade Association. Kirby also drew attention to the affect this will potentially have on the 40 yr. old US embargo.


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