"Gazprom of Russia to Drill for Oil in Cuban Waters"

"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."

Andrew E. Kramer reports for the New York Times November 15, 2010.

Source: NYTimes, 11/16/2010