Monday, June 7, 2010

Cuban oil production dipped in ’09

Cuban authorities have been deeply concerned over the possibility that crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill could find its way to the island’s shores. (For that matter, Venezuela’s government has sent PDVSA officials to help with the possible cleanup efforts). Some analysts believe that what is a catastrophe for the U.S. could be a boon for the Cuban oil industry. But if Cuba wishes to become even a mid-level oil exporter it will have to do a lot better than its output for last year:
Cuba's oil production fell by almost 300,000 tones in 2009 over 2008, while natural gas output stagnated, the National Statistics Office reported on Thursday…

The government gave no reason for the decline, though it coincided with a forced buy-out of concessions owned by Canadian firms Pebercan and Sherritt International (S.TO)…

Output had stagnated for nearly a decade as old wells were exhausted and new ones did no more than take up the slack…

Since 2006, Cuba has shipped small amounts of the crude to Asia.
On a related note, lawyers for Mexican state-run oil firm PEMEX filed a lawsuit against Germany’s BASF and other oil trading companies. The suit alleges that the chemical manufacturer and the other defendants “illegally profited from processing stolen oil.”

Image- BBC News (“Four US states have now been affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.”)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, GlobalPost

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