Cuba Could Drill Near U.S. Coast by End of Year
Greenwire Thursday, February 22, 2007
Cuba could start offshore drilling operations as soon as the end of this
year, exploring closer to Florida's coast than American companies can.
With help from Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA, Cuba is
modernizing its oil exploration and production capacity in preparation
for its offshore venture that could yield huge amounts of oil and
"Our studies … have shown there is a great potential, especially
offshore," said Dagoberto Rodriguez, the senior Cuban diplomat in the
United States. "Basically, we know that there is oil. The problem is
just where it is."
Last year, the House passed a bill allowing coastal states to ban
drilling operations up to 100 miles from their shores. However, a 1977
agreement between Cuba and the United States evenly split the seas
between the two countries, meaning Cuba would have rights to drill as
close as 60 miles from Key West, Fla.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated two years ago that Cuba can lay
claim to 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas under the ocean floor that spans between the country and the
United States (David J. Lynch, USA Today).