Friday, August 19, 2011

Cuba seeking oil spill agreement with Mexico

Cuba seeking oil spill agreement with Mexico

The Cuban government and state oil company CubaPetróleo (Cupet) are
seeking to reactivate an 11-year old cooperation agreement with Mexico
and state oil company Pemex, Mexican daily Milenio reported.

Pemex and Cupet signed a mutual-aid oil spill agreement in 1999.
However, the agreement — which includes stipulations for the exchange of
emergency crews — did not deal specifically with Cuban offshore activities.

As a drilling platform is expected to arrive in Cuban waters in
September, U.S. officials have expressed concern over offshore drilling
on the Cuban side of the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama Administration has
resorted to talking directly to foreign oil companies that are planning
to drill in Cuba, but it has not sought direct contacts with the Cuban
government or the state oil company.

Citing anonymous Pemex sources, the Milenio article said that due to
concerns over U.S. retaliation, the Mexican state oil company prefers to
work "passively" to achieve some kind of cooperation with Cuba.

Even so, the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo and Cupet's Centro de
Investigaciones Petroleras should also expand joint geological and
geophysical research, Pemex consultant Fluvio Ruiz suggested in a letter
to the board of directors, according to Milenio.

Due to Cupet's joint ventures with global oil companies, any cooperation
with Cuba would be advantageous for Mexico, particularly in the areas of
training, technology and informatics, the letter suggests.

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