June 8, 2009

Caribbean leaders to discuss oil projects

Eighteen Caribbean heads of state are scheduled to meet this week in Basseterre, the capital of St. Christopher and Nevis, to discuss oil supply issues.

The Sixth Summit of Petrocaribe will include discussions of on-going oil-related projects in Cuba, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Haiti, El Nuevo reported Monday.

The meeting's agenda includes Cuba's expectation of becoming a regional leader in the refinery business.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Raul Castro are expected to attend.

Cuba has plans to processing about 350,000 barrels of crude oil a day, a goal that anticipates it will be able to trade with the United States in the future.

Cuba and Venezuela have agreed to split a $10.8 billion investment in exploration, delivery and refinery projects, but the ambitions may be slowed by a sharp drop off in Venezuela's oil revenues this year.

Cuba also plans to develop its offshore reserves, believed to be contain about 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the newspaper said.