Archive for the ‘cuba’ Category

“Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, a well-connected Florida Republican, has been arrested on federal charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent. The case centers on Rivera’s signing of a $50 million contract with Venezuela’s government in early 2017, and his subsequent attempts to thaw Venezuela’s icy relationship with the U.S.”


Perhaps Mr Rivera’s conduct at a 2012 hearing on Cuban offshore drilling was a hint of things to come. Mr. Rivera inappropriately pressed BSEE, represented by Lars Herbst, to find ways to “bleed” Repsol should there be an incident while they were drilling in Cuban waters.

So, we need to figure out what we can do to inflict maximum pain, maximum punishment, to bleed Repsol of whatever resources they may have if there is a potential for a spill that will affect the U.S. coast. So, I hope you will look into that and verify that for us.”

Congressman David Rivera, 2012 Hearing on Cuban offshore drilling

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News: BOEMRE releases report on the September 2010 Mariner Fire in the Gulf of Mexico.
BOE Comments:

  • Good report and relatively timely. Nice job by the team.
  • Good discussion of the heater-treater and production safety issues.
  • This was a very serious incident and lives were jeopardized. Sadly, no oil spill means no public attention.
  • Why didn’t the Coast Guard participate in the investigation? Will they be reporting on the haphazard evacuation?
  • Age old question: Is the rather extensive discussion of violations appropriate for an accident report? Should violations and enforcement actions be managed independently from accident investigations?
BOE: Floating liquefaction facilities open interesting possibilities for producing natural gas in remote offshore locations, possibly including the arctic.  The first FLNG facility will be 488 m from bow to stern! Offshore to the future!
BOE: Lots of posturing and not much in the way of meaningful proposals from either party. Unlike Australia, the US has not responded to its blowout with necessary legislative action, most notably the establishment of a single offshore safety and pollution prevention regulator.
BOE: Engineers solve problems when given the opportunity and encouragement. JL Daeschler is busy at the drawing board!
News: Greenland rolls on. despite Greenpeace protests. Cairn Energy has begun a second summer of drilling.
Views: Last summer’s results must have been sufficiently encouraging to justify further exploration. 
News: Hurricane season officially begins tomorrow.
BOE: There has been surprisingly little public discussion about the offshore industry’s preparations. Hopefully, everyone is ready.
BOE: Where is the worldwide commitment from industry and government? This problem can and must be fixed!

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This presentation from the IADC Environmental Conference in Trinidad is linked. The Scarabeo 9 is the Saipmen rig that is scheduled to drill offshore Cuba later this year.

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Reuters article

“For us, the major goal is to prevent these major accidents from happening,” said Fidel Ilizastigui Perez, an official of Cuba’s Office for Environment and Nuclear Safety Regulation.

“The companies must show that they meet all international standards,” he told the conference in Port of Spain.

Perez said Cuban officials had studied and already implemented oil industry safety practices from Britain and incorporated others from the United States.

Mr. Perez participated in the 2005 International Regulators’ Offshore Safety Conference in London and made a very favorable impression.

Dan Whittle, a senior attorney at the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, said the Cuban government appeared to be taking the safety issue seriously because of the potential economic benefit of the project.

“Cuba has a lot at stake,” he said. “They’re doing the best they can with limited resources and with obstacles to access those resources.”

“I think we’re seeing the beginning of a more international dialogue on what the Cubans are planning,” he added.

Sensible comments from the EDF.

Also, Cuba and the Bahamas have agreed on a maritime boundary.

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While US politicians continue to gnash their teeth or express outrage, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has been busy promoting constructive dialogue about Cuban exploratory drilling. IADC has overcome major administrative obstacles and arranged for the participation of Cuban regulators in the Environmental Conference which begins tomorrow in Trinidad.

“This will pretty much be the first time the Cuban deepwater drilling project managers will make a presentation of what their regulatory requirements are going to be for the companies that drill in Cuban waters,” said Lee Hunt, president of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, which is organizing the conference. Reuters

The Cuba session is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. I look forward to seeing the news reports and posted presentations.

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Mariel Boatlift

Mariel — the town 30 miles west of Havana that was a departure point for more than 100,000 Cubans who left the island in the 1980 Mariel boatlift — is being remade into a servicing hub for the Cuban oil industry of the future.  NPR

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From Platts Oilgram News:

The US has given permission for a Cuban delegation to attend a conference sponsored by the International Association of Drilling Contractors in Trinidad next month to discuss Cuba’s deepwater drilling plans, the IADC said April 29.

If the Cuban delegation, which includes a top drilling regulator, attends, it will be the first time the Cubans have discussed their deepwater drilling plans in an international forum.

The IADC had applied to the US Treasury Department for a license to allow Cubans to attend the conference and was told on April 29 the license had been granted, Brian Petty, IADC senior vice president of government affairs, said.

The session on Cuba should be quite interesting.

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The recent departure by Petrobras from Cuba should not be taken as a final verdict on Cuba’s oil and gas potential, or as a signal on possible strained political relations between the governments of Cuba and Brazil.

It was simply an economic and strategic decision by Petrobras, following their long term-vision of focusing resources on developing its recently found 10 billion barrels of deepwater offshore oil and natural gas at the Santos and Campos basins, along the Atlantic coast. As Petrobras CFO Almhir Guilherme Barbassa recently stated in a Forbes interview: “…Petrobras has more to gain from organically growing its position in Brazil than going abroad to expand production.” Cuba Headlines



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The tragedy in Japan has added yet more uncertainty to nervous energy markets:
Japan will likely need more imported oil and natural gas due to closures of nuclear reactors caused by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami, but volumes can’t be calculated accurately as it is unclear how much industrial output has been affected by the disaster and how long power nuclear and thermal power plants will remain closed. Wall Street Journal
It’s much too early to gauge how the nuclear power industry, which some have touted as a model for safety achievement, will be affected.
    Standards news and discussion:
    Offshore Safety Institute?
    The CEOs of major oil and gascompanies will meet March 18 to decide how to proceed with the formation of a US offshore drilling safety institute, William Reilly, the co-chair of the National Oil Spill Commission, said March 8. Platts Oilgram News
    New twist in Cuban drilling drama – Petrobras relinquishes interest
    Marco Aurelio Garcia, foreign policy adviser to President Dilma Rousseff, told reporters in Havana exploratory work off Cuba’s northern coast had not shown good results and that Brazil wanted to concentrate on its own oil fields.
    Since BP’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico last April, the risks of offshore oil drilling have been a hot topic. One place it isn’t questioned much is Brazil, whose oil production industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world because of vast new deepwater oil reservoirs discovered in the past five years.
    Mexican Deepwater Update (Platts Oilgram News)
    Pemex has just begun to explore in Mexico’s Gulf of Mexico waters deeper than 1,000 feet, but 28 billion undiscovered barrels of oilequivalent are thought to exist in that area, some of which borders US territorial waters. Pemex officials said the company is forging a development plan for its first deepwater field, Lakach, located northeast of the state of Veracruz in about 3,200 feet of water. First production is expected in 2015.
    Environmentalists are furious at a proposal by the petroleum company Shell to start exploration drilling off one of Western Australia’s most treasured reefs. Ningaloo Reef off the north-west coast, has been nominated for World Heritage listing.

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Add Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil company, to the intriguing list of companies that will be involved in Cuban exploration:

“We have signed agreements with Cupet (the Cuban state-run oil company) to explore and develop two blocks,” said Mateus de Brito, a member of the corporate executive committee. El Universal

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