Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Companies abandon search for oil in Cuba's deep waters

Threat to Florida's environment reduced as drillers look elsewhere

By William E. Gibson, Washington Bureau

April 14, 2013

WASHINGTON — After spending nearly $700 million over a decade, energy

companies from around the world have all but abandoned their search for

oil in deep waters off the north coast of Cuba near Florida, a blow to

the Castro regime but a relief to environmentalists worried about the

possibility of a major oil spill.

Decisions by Spain-based Repsol and other companies to drill elsewhere

greatly reduce the chances that a giant slick along the Cuban coast

would ride ocean currents to South Florida, threatening its beaches,

inlets, mangroves, reefs and multi-billion-dollar tourism industry.

The Coast Guard remains prepared to contain, skim, burn or disperse a

potential slick. And Cuban officials still yearn for a lucrative strike

that would prop up its economy. A Russian company, Zarubezhneft, is

drilling an exploratory well in shallower waters hugging the Cuban

shoreline south of the Bahamas.

But while some oil has been found offshore, exploratory drilling in deep

waters near currents that rush toward Florida has failed to reveal big

deposits that would be commercially viable to extract, discouraging

companies from pouring more money into the search.

"Those companies are saying, `We cannot spend any more capital on this

high-risk exploration. We'd rather go to Brazil, we'd rather go to

Angola, we'd rather go to other places in the world where the

technological and geological challenges are less,'" said Jorge Pinon, an

oil industry analyst at the University of Texas, who consults with U.S.

and Cuban officials as well as energy companies.,0,5594782.story

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