Friday, August 12, 2016

Motembo, Politically Strategic Oil for Cuba

Motembo, Politically Strategic Oil for Cuba
August 11, 2016
Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — Rumors have been flying around these past few days about
the discovery of good quality oil on Cuban soil. However, uncertainty at
this time is great and journalism errors are multiplying every day.

The Australian company Meo Australia has said that it's found a large
oil deposit estimating that they could extract around 8 billion barrels;
400 million (5%) of which would be usable as fuel – with the possibility
of being extracted using the latest technology or technology still being

…resource potential of over 8 billion barrels of oil-in-place and nearly
400 million barrels of recoverable Prospective Resource.

That is to say, it's not what Fernando Ravsberg and others claim: the 8
billion barrels are NOT Prospective Resources.

A prospective resource of up to 8.2 billion barrels would make us one of
the highest oil producing countries in Latin America, below Mexico and
above Ecuador.
However, if we can classify all of the estimated 400 million barrels as
proven resources (which is much more certain than the prospective
resource estimate), it would be enough to meet our national oil demand
for about 7 years, just scraping by.
Seven years, let's say ten, without needing to buy oil would be a brief,
but much needed break from the suffocation the Cuban economy has endured
for decades, but that would be all.

On the other hand, it makes you wonder why the government is acting so
slowly to confirm this piece of news. Increasing the feeling of mystery
that shrouds this subject, the government newspaper Trabajadores
published an article that it then took down, and Telesur did the same
thing. Radio Havana Cuba has such a humble and concise note on their
website as if we'd just discovered 55 gallons of oil and nothing more.
And Cuba Petroleo, who will take part in extracting this oil deposit,
hasn't said anything so far.

Furthermore, some of the comments that have been made reveal the
ambiguity of Peter Stickland's words, CEO of the Australian company and
a member of the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers. Let's
look at what he said:

"While we have identified some thrilling possibilities in Block 9, we
still haven't made any discoveries. We expect that that may occur in one
to two years."

Recently, many phantom discoveries of large oil deposits on Cuban
territory have been made. Last year, we found 20 billion barrels in the
Gulf of Mexico and these were confirmed by the Cuban Government. The
news was then forgotten when investors didn't seem to be too interested.

The Motembo oil field might not give us a lot of oil, but it will play a
very important political role. In 2018, Raul will leave the reins of
power in a country left in a very fragile state; because it's the end of
a historic era, because of the crisis in Venezuela and because it's the
moment that so many of us have been waiting for to try and push for real
change here in Cuba.

If cash and energy problems continue, the political apparatus created by
the Castro brothers will have less chances of being able to sustain
itself. However, if the succession of power is accompanied by an
economic boom thanks to newly found oil, the general outlook will favor
continuing on their legacy. Let's remember that 2018 is exactly the year
that MEO Australia says it will begin resource production.

On the other hand, leaving people with hope and distracted in times of
crisis… well Raul knows that that's even more precious than oil.

Source: Motembo, Politically Strategic Oil for Cuba - Havana -
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