HAVANA, CUBA — According to reports in Cuban government-owned newspaper Granma, Russia and Cuba have signed four contracts that will allow a Russian company to begin oil and gas exploration in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The agreements set the basis for Cuban company Cubapetroleo (Cupet) and Russian company Zarubzhnieft to work together in Cuba’s exclusive economic zone, particularly on the extraction of oil from deepwater areas.
The contracts were signed as part of a series of accords establishing increased collaboration between Russia and Cuba, including an agreement granting Cuba a US$150 million loan for Russian construction and agricultural equipment and agreements related to the fishing industry.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin was quoted by Russian media service RIA Novosti as saying, “We consider that an outcome of this cooperation will be new opportunities both for Cuba as well as Zarubezhneft.” Sechin was in Cuba to preside over the agreements.
Zarubezhneft is a Russian state oil company focused primarily on exploration, development and operation of oil and gas resources in countries outside of Russia. According to a statement, Zarubezhneft has set resuming cooperation with Cupet as a strategic target and plans to develop activities in partnership with Cupet. These activities include geological and prospecting operations, enhancing oil recovery rate and shipping Russian spare parts and equipment to Cupet facilities.