Extracting cuba's oil and gas: Challenges and opportunities

Jorge R. Piñón, Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Potential offshore oil deposits were identified in Cuban waters in 2004, yet amid widespread speculation as to their magnitude and potential, there has been little exploratory work undertaken to evaluate the actual amount of oil and gas reserves that are present, the feasibility of extraction, and the deposits' eventual productive capacity. In the recent as in the more distant past, there have been hints that there may be an oil giant in the Florida Strait ripe for investment from its neighbors to the north. Insofar as Cuba remains off-limits to American firms, the notion becomes all the more alluring and heightens the sense of possibility:What might a United States-Cuba oil partnership lead to? The primary objective of this chapter is to provide an analysis of the upstream oil and natural gas potential in Cuba, in the following areas: -Actual potential hydrocarbon (crude oil and natural gas) production figures -Potential realized oil prices from joint-venture projects -The possible role of Cuba's offshore Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) -Types of concessions that could be granted in the Cuban EEZ -An assessment of the future upstream oil and natural gas development challenges These analyses should provide ample basis for the broader discussion of the challenges in the electrical power sector in Cuba, energy balances, and the potential for biofuels discussed in chapters 3 and 4 of this volume. In the appendix to this chapter are tables of data relevant to Cuban energy development (the Cuban supply/demand balance; Cuban gasoline prices; Cuban lubricants-motor oil production figures; Cuban refinery production figures; Cuban estimated annual petroleum import values; Cuban-Venezuelan estimated petroleum debt). All told, the data and analysis presented in this chapter are designed to serve as the basis of discussions of the broader implications of Cuban energy development: both the direct challenges implied for Cuban policymakers and the possible opportunities that these challenges present to potential American partners and policymakers as they relate to energy cooperation and energy security concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCuba's Energy Future
Subtitle of host publicationStrategic Approaches to Cooperation
PublisherBrookings Institution Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780815703426
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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