Cuba continues producing petroleum while insisting on saving
After meeting 2006 plans for oil extraction, Cubans continue working in three dozen wells operated by its national enterprise, CUPET and by associations between the island and foreign companies.
Oil pumped out of the subsoil or up from the depths of the sea, also plays a role in the Cuban economy, though the country insists on giving priority to the rational use of fuels and on saving electricity.
Cuba's oil enterprise, Cubapetroleo, or CUPET, has signed agreements with China, Spain, Venezuela, India, Norway and Canada, for oil and gas exploration and extraction.
The production of three million 900 thousand tons of petroleum and gas last year is nearly seven times that obtained in l990 and represents half of the island's needs. It also means a savings of 260 million dollars, because that amount of the so-called, black gold does not have to be acquired on the international market at current high prices.
Exploration and drilling continue this year in 30 wells, six of them under the control of Cubapetroleo, which will drill 12 new wells, using seven new high-tech machines.
Last May, the Spanish company, Repsol-YPF, announced an association signed with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, of India, and Norsk Hydro ASA, of Norway, for the exploration of six areas in deep open waters by Cuba for joint exploitation with foreign associations.
Cuba has given special importance to sustained growth of the production of oil and gas that is extracted from land, with proven reserves that will last several decades.
That production is concentrated along the northern coast of Havana and Matanzas in the western part of the island, though favorable results are expected in prospecting underway in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts affirm that the Gulf of Mexico possesses significant oil reserves, and Cuba is looking for foreign assistance for prospecting and possible drilling in its economically exclusive area.
Foreign capital and technology are working patiently at risk, but with probability of success.
Work is underway in a 112 thousand square kilometer area, divided into 59 blocks to better structure operations that are very complex, due to the deep waters that range from two thousand to two thousand 500 meters.
Work in the petroleum sector will continue along with the country's energy revolution, a national program based on saving electricity, as well as the two fuels used to produce it, and the maximum employment of other alternative and renewal energy sources.
However, it is important to note that though Cuban crude now covers half the island's domestic needs, there is still one part of the rest, the part not covered by Venezuela that must be purchased on the international market at extremely high prices.