The BBC has Cuba finding 20 billion barrels offshore.
Cuba has suffered from blackouts countrywise since 2004. Last year, high metal prices have boosted Cuban revenue from nickel and Cobalt. Due to ongoing electricity shortages, the government has continued to invest in the energy sector. Cuba currently produces about 58,300 barrels of oil a day and consumes 150,000 a day. It acquires the remainder largely through Venezuela. As of January 2007, its proven oil reserves were 242 million barrels. The United States Geological Survey estimated in the past that Cuba holds reserves of 4.6 billion barrels of oil, and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in its Gulf of Mexico waters. today, the USGS estimates that as much as 9bn barrels of oil and 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could lie in the North Cuba Basin. Currently, Canadian and Chinese companies are drilling in Cuba.
The state-owned Cuban oil company says the country may have more than 20bn barrels of oil in its offshore fields – more than double the previous estimate. Cubapetroleo’s exploration manager said drilling in the offshore wells would begin as early as the middle of 2009. Such reserves would place Cuba among the top 20 oil producing nations.
Cubapetroleo’s estimates are based on comparisons to known oil reserves found within similar geological structures off the coasts of the US and Mexico. The company said Cuba had undersea geology “very similar” to that surrounding Mexico’s giant Cantarell and Poza Rica oil fields in the Bay of Campeche.
Commentary & Analysis:
Despite currently declining oil prices, this recent find, if proven, will be both a financial and political boost for the current regime. This development is another reason the U.S. should finally pursue detent with Cuba and normalize relations. Cuba would potentially provide a stable, cheap and nearby source of energy to the United States. Additionally, Cuban revenue would be reinvested in infrastructure and development which would come at least partially through U.S. firms. If the US can buy oil from unsavory characters like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria, little ole Cuba can hardly be held up as worse.