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Cuba Becoming an Oil Exporter

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  • World View
    New refinery to turn long-time importer Cuba into oil exporter By Carlos Batista Updated May 14, 2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4 3:22 PM
      New refinery to turn long-time importer Cuba into oil exporter
      By Carlos Batista
      Updated May 14, 2007
      http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_3480.shtml


      HAVANA, Cuba (Caribbean Net News) - A modernized oil refinery is set
      to go on line in December 2007, official media reported, in a shift
      due to turn import-dependent Cuba into an oil exporter.

      Overhauled with capital from a joint Venezuelan-Cuban company, the
      Cienfuegos refinery in south-central Cuba will meet the Caribbean
      country's own demands, and earmark 9,000 barrels of gasoline a day for
      export, Venezuela's communications and information ministry said in a
      release circulated here.

      Vice President Carlos Lage confirmed the facility was set to start
      operations in December, the Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported.

      Vice President Lage said the refinery would process 65,000 barrels per
      day of petroleum by late this year or early 2008, the paper said.

      Cuban authorities in late March said Havana was optimistic and it
      could soon see a breakthrough in exploiting major oil reserves.

      That could mark a sea of change that would see the cash-strapped
      regime become a flush energy exporter, with ample funding to
      perpetuate itself.

      At the moment, Cuba gets cut-rate oil from Venezuela, its closest
      international ally and most important economic partner.

      The Spanish multinational is just one of the firms elbowing in, along
      with Norsk Hydro, Canada's Sherrit, Malaysia's Petronas and India's
      Videsh.

      Cuba has divided its exclusive zone into 59 blocs for exploration and
      production, 16 of which are contracted out. Repsol has six, Sherrit
      and Petronas have four each, while Videsh has two.

      Repsol in 2005 was the first to break ground in the area, but the
      company determined the crude it discovered was not commercially
      exploitable at that time.

      In 2006, Cuba produced about 3.9 million tonnes of oil, seven times
      more than 1990 when the former East bloc collapsed, depriving Cuba of
      its long-accustomed supply of cut-rate Soviet crude.

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