Good News: Oil Drilling Off Florida Begins Nov. 1st. Bad News: It’s in Cuba

Steve Maley

While it’s been the subject of rumor, gossip and misinformation for the last several years, this time it’s real: drilling off the north shore of Cuba is scheduled to begin November 1. Six wells are planned to be drilled with this rig by the various international companies who own exploration rights off the north shore of the island.

…Spanish energy company Repsol and its partners are now bringing the Chinese-built [drilling rig] Scarabeo 9 to a site off Cuba’s northwest coast, where it aims to drill as soon as November at a depth of more than 5,500 feet, deeper than the blown-out well that spewed 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf last summer.

The [rig’s] journey to Cuba will take two months, and once it arrives it will be put into operation almost immediately, said the official, who asked not to be identified. It will be used first as an exploratory well for a consortium led by Spanish oil giant Repsol YPF, which drilled the only offshore well in Cuba in 2004 and said at the time it had found hydrocarbons. [Source.]

The current trade embargo requires the operation contain less than 10% U.S. content. Of the major components, only the blowout preventer (BOP) is an American product (Cameron International)…

“Cuban oil officials will manage and regulate the operations…” Oh, joy.

To all you NIMBYs in Florida and elsewhere, you can rest well with the knowledge that the best of Cuban industrial technology will brought to bear in overseeing this operation.

The complete article is at

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