A Chinese oil company is now the world’s top producer. While we sleep and watch pump prices rise, China, India and even Cuba seek supplies the world over, including drilling off the Florida coast.
Global demand for oil is rising, as is its global price, as energy-hungry economies such as China, India and Brazil scour the earth for oil they know will be the energy of the present for some time to come.
Even those lacking their own technology are asking others to help them get more. For them, there is no such thing as “peak oil.”
The U.S., however, stands alone as the only major country not actively seeking new supplies.
Less than two years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion of a single rig virtually shut down our efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, a Chinese rig built for a Spanish company, Repsol, has begun exploratory drilling for oil off Cuba as close as 50 miles to Key West, Fla. The Scarabeo 9 rig will drill at a depth of 6,000 feet underwater. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill happened at a shallower depth of 5,500 feet.
The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated the North Cuban Basin contains as much as 9 billion barrels of oil and 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Other estimates range from 5 billion to 20 billion barrels.
Pools of oil and natural gas tend not to obey lines drawn on a map. It is certain that at least some of Cuba’s wells will be tapping oil pools that straddle the boundary separating our zone from theirs, meaning Havana will be getting oil that should be ours.