Cuban Offshore Oil Drilling Begins

According to the the Chinese state media, CCTV, deep water oil drilling operations have begun in the Caribbean island nation of Cuba. Last Thursday the Spanish oil company Repsol-YPF began drilling 30 miles offshore of the northwest of Havana. The oil rig itself was purchased from China and is named the Scarabeo-9 and is capable of drilling 3,600 meters deep. Experts said the drilling of such wells takes about 60 days to complete. Company spokespeople have said this will be the first of five oil wells planned.

Last year the Cuban state oil company Cubapetroleo produced four million tons of oil and gas, meeting only half of the required domestic need. The rest of its oil comes from Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which trades it for professional services including doctors.

Many in the Marxist community are concerned that the increased production of oil in Cuba may make it the target of US Imperialism. Some expect Washington to increase pressure on the socialist nation. Such an opinion is not surprising given that the Republican Party hopeful Newt Gingrich recently advocated the use of violence against Cuba.

While the United States has used mass killings to obtain oil supplies in the past, like the invasion of Iraq and the NATO backed uprising in Libya, this situation will be quite different. Personally I don’t foresee a US invasion of Cuba anytime soon for its oil. After all Spain does own the oil rig, a Western nation, and US foreign policy is less likely to step on their toes. In addition, the Cuban government claims to have a reserve of 20 billion barrels, while the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that it is only 5 billion. If US estimates are true, this makes an invasion of Cuba for its oil unprofitable (Iraq was 112 billion). There’s not enough oil to make it worth their while. For now.


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