Sunday, October 19, 2008

Umm...about that embargo...

You have to wonder if the United States’ decades-long embargo of Cuba is in its last days now that the island nation has announced it has strong evidence that there are likely as many as 20 billion barrels of oil in its offshore territories.

Cuba already has a small oil industry, and produces about half the oil it uses domestically. They have though long suspected that there are vast reserves offshore. Last week's estimate of 20 billion barrels is based on years of research and by comparing Cuba's geography to the oil-producing regions of Mexico. The state oil company Cubapetroleo (which is also known by the just-too-cute nickname Cupet) plans to drill the first test wells early next year.

If it all plays out according to estimates, Cuba will join the ranks of the world’s oil exporting nations. Industry experts point out that the oil is located in deep deposits offshore, so it is hard to get to, and that the US embargo in place against Cuba prevents American companies from investing in developing the oil fields.

Of course that embargo won't stop Chinese or Russian companies (Russia has been actively working lately to restore ties with their Communist-era ally) from investing, which makes you wonder if the US will continue the embargo, or make the decision that five decades is enough.
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