Cuba seeking oil spill agreement with Mexico
- Submitted by: manso
- Politics and Government
- 08 / 18 / 2011
The Cuban government and state oil company CubaPetróleo (Cupet) are seeking to reactivate an 11-year old cooperation agreement with Mexico and state oil company Pemex, Mexican daily Milenio reported.
Pemex and Cupet signed a mutual-aid oil spill agreement in 1999. However, the agreement — which includes stipulations for the exchange of emergency crews — did not deal specifically with Cuban offshore activities.
As a drilling platform is expected to arrive in Cuban waters in September, U.S. officials have expressed concern over offshore drilling on the Cuban side of the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama Administration has resorted to talking directly to foreign oil companies that are planning to drill in Cuba, but it has not sought direct contacts with the Cuban government or the state oil company.
Citing anonymous Pemex sources, the Milenio article said that due to concerns over U.S. retaliation, the Mexican state oil company prefers to work “passively” to achieve some kind of cooperation with Cuba.
Even so, the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo and Cupet’s Centro de Investigaciones Petroleras should also expand joint geological and geophysical research, Pemex consultant Fluvio Ruiz suggested in a letter to the board of directors, according to Milenio.
Due to Cupet’s joint ventures with global oil companies, any cooperation with Cuba would be advantageous for Mexico, particularly in the areas of training, technology and informatics, the letter suggests.