While the Obama Administration pretends to have lifted the offshore oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf, there have been ZERO drilling permits issued. So we, as usual, are subjects to our OPEC overlords (now headed by Iran), and other foreign sources, for our oil supply.
MOSCOW — The Russian energy giant Gazprom has joined a growing list of companies that plan to drill for oil in the waters off Cuba, close to the United States but out of reach of its safety regulators.
Cuba produces little oil now, but petroleum experts say the country’s northern coastal waters could hold plentiful reserves, which could help revive the island’s economy and ease its dependence on oil imported from Venezuela. Half a dozen companies have signed deals to work as close as 50 miles off the United States coast, but none from the United States because of the 48-year-old trade embargo.
The oil arm of Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, bought a 30 percent share of four exploration blocks from the Malaysian state-owned company Petronas, Gazprom Neft said in a statement.
Under the agreement, the Russian company will also assume a role in operating offshore drilling platforms. Russian oil firms, which operate mostly on land in Siberia, have little expertise offshore and have sought to form partnerships to gain experience.
Gazprom is buying into an exploration deal Petronas reached with the Cuban government in 2007. Work has already begun. After some seismic work, engineers decided to start drilling next year.