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Russia To Drill For Oil In ‘Cuban Waters’

Buried in the ‘Global Business’ section of the New York Times:

Gazprom of Russia to Drill for Oil in Cuban Waters

By ANDREW E. KRAMER
Published: November 15, 2010

MOSCOW — The Russian energy giant Gazprom has joined a growing list of companies that plan to drill for oil in the waters off Cuba, close to the United States but out of reach of its safety regulators

Half a dozen companies have signed deals to work as close as 50 miles off the United States coast, but none from the United States because of the 48-year-old trade embargo.

Once again, notice that the New York Times is not as outraged at these countries drilling for oil in the Gulf with no real regulation as they are outraged that we are still boycotting Cuba. They love Cuba even more than they hate US oil companies.

By the way, as we have noted previously, Cuba can drill deepwater wells at about the same distance from Key West, Florida as the Deepwater Horizon was from the Louisiana coast.

The oil arm of Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, bought a 30 percent share of four exploration blocks from the Malaysian state-owned company Petronas, Gazprom Neft said in a statement.

Under the agreement, the Russian company will also assume a role in operating offshore drilling platforms. Russian oil firms, which operate mostly on land in Siberia, have little expertise offshore and have sought to form partnerships to gain experience.

In truth, they have very "little expertise" with onshore oil drilling, as well. But the Gulf is the perfect place for them to learn without any risk.

Gazprom is buying into an exploration deal Petronas reached with the Cuban government in 2007. Work has already begun. After some seismic work, engineers decided to start drilling next year.

If hydrocarbons are found, the leases that now belong partly to Gazprom, pending approval by the Cuban authorities, extend through 2037 for oil and 2042 for natural gas.

As Cuba has made plans to drill for oil in the Gulf, concern has risen in Florida.

Ocean scientists warn that a well blowout at a site where a Spanish company, Repsol, intends to drill next year could send oil spewing onto Cuban beaches and then the Florida Keys in as little as three days. Repsol has contracted with an Italian operator to build a rig made in China for the deep-water well about 50 miles from the coast of the United States.

And lest we forget, China modified the blowout preventer on the BP well that failed. So what could possibly go wrong?

Cuba lacks the underwater robots and spare drilling rigs that would be needed to contain a big spill, while the trade embargo could complicate assistance by United States companies.

Oh, don’t worry. If anything happens anywhere off of Cuba the US taxpayer will pay to have it fixed and to clean up afterwards. Even if it means lifting the hated embargo.

Other companies, from Norway, India, Venezuela, Vietnam and Brazil, have also taken exploration leases in Cuba.

As we have previously noted, there are reports that Cuba is also negotiating for as many as five leases with China, as well. Which is not bad for an island that is so ‘put upon’ by the American embargo.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Russia To Drill For Oil In ‘Cuban Waters’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    But, but … Comrade Steve-tovarich…. oil is bad! Comrade Obama has said so! Oh, woe! Oh woe? How is it that oil is good for Communist Workers Paradise but a villain when for American families?

    I am so confused by mixed messaging.

  2. heykev says:

    With Norway, India, Venezuela, Vietnam, Russia, China and Brazil are all drilling or will be drilling in the gulf soon. Where is the outrage from the White House or the media?

    Oh, that ‘s right, our Dear Leader has given millions of our dollars to Mexico. He also gave millions to Brazil – so somehow a Soros backed company in Brazil could drill for oil in the gulf instead of us. US companies are blocked from all deep oil drilling.

    Yet somehow, this is not front page news. It’s not even reported.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    Well, maybe it would be a good thing.
    After all, the marine life in the gulf has not only not suffered, it has flourished after fishing was halted for so long.
    It will only get better after the next big spill.

  4. Right of the People says:

    Hmmm, nearly 50 years after Kennedy flubbed the “Cuban missile crisis” the Russians will finally get their wish and have a platform close to the US mainland and the Chinese too. Oh joy, oh rapture! I mean what the hell, the Chinese already own the Panama Canal.


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