Trade with Cuba on Russian radar
Cuba had worked to wean itself from oil imports with its own reserves.
By Daniel J. Graeber | May 8, 2015 at 6:25 AM
MOSCOW, May 8 (UPI) — Trade and economic cooperation with Cuba,
formerly on the Russian oil radar, topped the agenda of Kremlin
meetings, a Russian government spokesman said.
Cuba is opening its doors more for Western powers after a long Cold War
policy of isolation from the United States. For Russia, which in part
triggered the freeze in the early 1960s, the visit was part of a
historic trade relationship in the Latin American economy.
“There is no need to describe the quality of Russian-Cuban relations,
which have a long history,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a
visiting Cuban President Raul Castro.
Putin’s aide, Yuri Ushakov, said both sides discussed trade and economic
cooperation for an evolving Cuba. While trade between both countries
dropped by more than 10 percent last year, Ushakov said development of
oil fields off the Cuban coast through a joint venture between the two
countries was among the more promising areas of cooperation.
Cuba in the past worked to cut the amount of oil it imports from
Venezuela through development of its own offshore reserves.
Cuba has limited proven reserves of its own and relies on imports from
Latin American countries to meet its energy demands.
In 2011, Gazprom Neft, the oil division of Gazprom, bought a 30 percent
stake in four Cuban blocks following a production-sharing agreement
signed with Malaysia’s Petronas and Cuba’s Cubapetroleo, or Cupet.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated there were about 4.6 billion
barrels of crude oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the
form of undiscovered, technically recoverable, reserves in Cuba. About
three quarters of that is said to be located within 50 miles from shore.
Source: Kremlin courts former oil and political ally, Cuba – UPI.com –