Cuba expected to produce 4 mm tons of oil and natural gas in 2007

Oct 28, 2007 02:00 AM

Cuba will produce about 4 mm tons of oil and natural gas this year, a top government official said. It would be a slight increase over 2006.
Touring the Nico Lopez refinery on the east side of Havana Bay, Vice President Carlos Lage said Cuba "is in position to meet its plan of almost 4 mm tons of oil and natural gas this year."

In 2006, Cuba produced 3.9 mm tons of oil and natural gas: 2.9 mm tons of oil equal to more than 22 mm barrels, and about 100,000 tons of natural gas. The new report did not break down the oil and gas figures for this year.
Lage was quoted as saying that modernization of the Nico Lopez facility has helped save nearly 1 mm litres (26,000 gallons) of gasoline in just two months. Upgrading the refinery took nine months and cost more than $ 4.3 mm (EUR 3 mm).

Cuba has been producing 85,000 barrels of petroleum and 120 mm cf (3.4 mm cm) of natural gas a day, a dramatic increase from a decade ago but still not enough to meet its needs. Officials are betting on even richer deposits offshore, where foreign companies are engaged in exploratory drilling in partnership with the communist government.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is providing nearly 100,000 daily barrels of oil to the island in exchange for Cuban social services including doctors and health care initiatives.

Still, Lage said Cuba is forced to purchase some oil on the open market, and is feeling the worldwide pinch of spiking prices.
"Even though we maintain the contract with Venezuela which gives us favourable commercial conditions, the country has to buy a certain amount of fuel on the international market," he was quoted as saying. "That's why saving energy is a prime responsibility at the moment."

Source / Associated Press
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