Cuba drills where Obama fears to tread

posted at 10:45 am on October 19, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Good news, domestic energy fans! After extraordinary delays, it looks like there will finally be some energy production activity in the Gulf of Mexico once again. This time it’s in the fertile fields to the south and west of Florida, employing some brand spanking new deep-water drilling rigs with all the latest technical features. This is terrific, and I’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating President Obama for moving forward with this much needed expansion of …

What’s that? We’re not the ones doing the drilling? Then who is?

Oh, for crying out loud.

The government is doing what it can to ensure that the first full-scale oil exploration in Cuba’s part of the Gulf of Mexico will not endanger Florida’s pristine beaches that lie only miles away, the top drilling regulator told lawmakers on Tuesday.

But the assurances did not completely convince senators at a Capitol Hill hearing that the United States would be prepared to respond to a worst-case oil spill scenario in waters controlled by its long-time Communist foe.

The Cubans are partnering up with Spanish energy producer Repsol YPF SA and preparing to move a large, semi-submersible ocean going rig built in China into the gulf. They’ll be drilling roughly sixty miles off from the Florida Keys. Given the wide dispersal of that field, we could have already been tapping into those resources, but apparently the oil will go elsewhere. But fear not, sports fans! The president has a plan. He’s going to inspect the rig.

I’m sure that makes everyone feel better. More from The Hill.

“Before the end of the year, a Chinese-made drilling platform known as Scarabeo 9 is expected to arrive in the Gulf. Once it is there, Cuba and its foreign partners, including Spain’s Repsol, will begin using it to drill for oil in waters deeper than Deepwater Horizon’s infamous Macondo well. The massive rig, manufactured to comply with U.S.-content restrictions at a cost of $750 million, will cost Repsol and other companies $407,000 per day to lease for exploration.”

Both politically and economically this is a worst case scenario for the White House. If shoddy safety measures do wind up resulting in a spill, then we look entirely powerless. And either way, all talk of restricting exploration in that region flies out the window if somebody else can simply come along and do it. The energy and jobs we need at home are paraded almost literally in front of our faces as they waltz out of our country. It’s a serious black eye for this administration no matter what happens in the years to come.

The resources are there. Somebody is going to get them. Jobs will be created. Profits will be earned.

Just not here in the United States.

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Just how smug can a Green be while shivering in the dark?

Hiya Ciska on October 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

shoulda, coulda, would they get their heads outta their a…..

upinak on October 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Just how smug can a Green be while shivering in the dark?

Hiya Ciska on October 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

what do you get when you run two tree hugging bunny humpers together?

upinak on October 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

So our lack of drilling leaves our coast no safer from the dangers of spilled oil, but does mean that we don’t get any.

Predictable. However, it’s nice to have the optic of Castro being more bullish on energy production than Obama. The GOP nominee should go to to that well early and often.

TexasDan on October 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

They drink our milkshake. They drink it up.

Red Cloud on October 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Use it or lose it! What’s so hard about that?

OldEnglish on October 19, 2011 at 10:54 AM

And the Left just loves, loves, loves Cuba. Shouldn’t Martin Sheen be protesting?

hawkdriver on October 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Just how smug can a Green be while shivering in the dark?

Hiya Ciska on October 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Since you can’t cure stupid, I suspect very.

Europeans have found a way to love barely tepid showers. I’m sure our crowd will find a way to push the bar lower–they already have their day without electricity thing, you know.

TexasDan on October 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Cuba’s communist is a smarter businessman than our Socialist. Go figure.

VastRightWingConspirator on October 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Thanks, Jeb! for protecting our Florida beaches all those years.

Kissmygrits on October 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

You misunderstand Obama’s intent. Oil and drilling is fine if communists do it. Just not when capitalists do it.

MikeA on October 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM

But he has never said he would trade all the prisoners in Gitmo for one US hostage so, hey, he’s still Winning!

Lily on October 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I’m sure Barry will tell the Cubans “We’ll be your best customer!”

GarandFan on October 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Good! – Ernesto

lorien1973 on October 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hahahahahaha!

Administration officials will tell nervous congressmen this week that the U.S. will inspect the China-made drilling rig before the Spanish energy company in charge of the project, Repsol YPF SA, moves the rig into Cuban territory.

American operated rigs are bad and must be shut down for safety’s sake but Cuban/Spanish rigs? Just inspect them before they start. Pure comedy gold!

Dawnsblood on October 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hey, bifidis butt-bacterium, any objection to the action of your hero, Castro?

OhioCoastie on October 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Well gee, whodda thunk it? Obama undermining the US. I’m really shocked, I tell ya.

NJ Red on October 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Thanks for nothing Obama. Such idiocy.

Yakko77 on October 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Cuba’s communist is a smarter businessman than our Socialist. Go figure.

VastRightWingConspirator

That nears the truth – and certainly both are more red than green – but the real lesson we should learn here is that, as far as leftists are concerned, profit and jobs from any business subject to left-wing, politically-correct attacks (oil, coal, tobacco, corporate agriculture, mining, etc.) can only be used with impunity to prop up the world-wide Marxist narrative. The Cuban government calls itself Marxist and hates America, so it’s OK for them to rape the Gulf.

Knott Buyinit on October 19, 2011 at 11:15 AM

So the jobs and oil go elsewhere …………… Thank you, Mr. Obama.

SC.Charlie on October 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Oops!
===========

U.S. to Offer Oil Leases in the Gulf
August 19, 2011
****************

WASHINGTON — Making good on a promise, the Interior Department announced Friday that it had scheduled its first sale of offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year. But it is changing some of the rules to ensure that leased parcels are actually drilled and not hoarded.

President Obama’s relations with the oil industry have suffered since the BP spill, with many executives accusing him of choking off domestic petroleum supplies and suppressing job creation. But it is unclear whether the resumption of lease sales will affect the rate of oil production in the gulf or improve relations.

The department said Friday that it was more than doubling the minimum bid for the right to drill in deep water in the gulf, to $100 an acre from $37.50 an acre in the proposed sale, which is scheduled for Dec. 14. The auction encompasses more than 20 million acres of the western gulf.

Officials said the change was based on an analysis of the last 15 years of lease sales in the gulf, which found that leases that received high bids of less than $100 per acre have experienced virtually no exploration and development.

The lease offering includes parcels from nine to 250 miles offshore and in water depths from 16 to nearly 11,000 feet. The Interior Department estimates that the tract could produce 222 million to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.49 trillion to 2.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is raising the minimum bid on leases in water deeper than 1,312 feet to encourage companies to actively explore those areas and to compensate for the high costs of dealing with a spill.

Regulators said they concluded that raising the minimum bid would discourage companies from purchasing leases and then sitting on them for years.
(More….)
==============

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/business/energy-environment/us-plans-first-sale-of-offshore-oil-leases-since-gulf-disaster.htm

canopfor on October 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Oops again!!
==============

‘Drill, Castro, Drill!’ says Obama and the Environmental Defense Fund
Oct 4 2011
**************

In half a heartbeat the Obama team could put the kibosh to the most dangerous offshore oil drilling ever proposed near U.S. shores,

scheduled to begin in December by a Spanish/Cuban corporation.

By fighting this drilling his “Environmentalist” allies could get the biggest bang for their lobbying buck in their history.

But all bets are off. This drilling, you see, won’t be by tacky/villainous U.S. oil companies.

Instead a Spanish-Cuban oil company will be the outfit drilling in Cuban waters 60 miles from Key West.

U.S. companies are banned from exploring anywhere within 125 of the Florida Coast, by the way.

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not working together,” groused The Environmental Defense Fund’s Bill Whittle after returning absolutely enchanted from a recent meeting with members of Cuba’s Stalinist nomenklatura:

“They’re taking the lessons of the BP spill very seriously. They could have easily distanced themselves from what happened and said theirs is a different situation from BP, and said ‘Thank you very much. The very opposite happened.”
(More….)
=================

http://townhall.com/columnists/humbertofontova/2011/10/04/drill,_castro,_drill!_says_obama_and_the_environmental_defense_fund

canopfor on October 19, 2011 at 11:36 AM

So the jobs and oil go elsewhere …………… Thank you, Mr. Obama.

SC.Charlie on October 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Amazing, isn’t it?

hawkdriver on October 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Regulators said they concluded that raising the minimum bid would discourage companies from purchasing leases and then sitting on them for years.

canopfor on October 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Not all leases are immediately “drillable.”

Not all leases are fully explored.

Not all leases are presently economically viable to drill.

But, having a lease in hand makes exploration and research and development toward actually drilling a far more manageable option. having a lease in hand lends toward garnering other investors, as well.

It takes millions and millions, perhaps as much as a billion, to fully develop a lease into a producing field.

This new myth, this meme, from the Obama Administration that big oil is simply “hoarding” oil leases shows how very little they actually know and understand about petroleum extraction.

And, if they do know and understand petroleum extraction, then what they are doing is criminal.

China, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Spain, and a number of other nations are looking toward our dormancy in the Gulf with hungry eyes. Yet, our “leadership” has dreams of solar panels and wind farms replacing petroleum.

Who is gonna win this one?

Not us.

coldwarrior on October 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I smell George Soros.

Naturally Curly on October 19, 2011 at 11:42 AM

You think that anyone, ANYONE, even “Energy Jobs Perry” will bring this up at a Republican debate? Or will they all be too busy trying to score junior high debate points against each other? “Mitt had a Mexican cut his lawn!!!!” “Perry gave in-state tuition to illegals!!!!” “Herman Cain said he opposed a VAT, and now look at 9-9-9!!!!”

Cubans and Chinese sucking the oil right out from under our noses; a debt careening us off an economic cliff; a president who doesn’t know how to do anything but blame Republicans; and we get illegal gardeners and stupid arguments about fences along the Rio Grande.

Un-freaking-believable. And scary.

notropis on October 19, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Not to worry. Cuba will bring many times the resources of a BP to the table, in case of accident.

MNHawk on October 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Unexpectedly, no doubt. Cali is broke while sitting non fertile grounds that could wipe out the deficit almost over night. Florida neglects its fields so Cuba moves in. The first rig is just a latest & greatest showpiece. The fifth rig will be as cheap as possible using 80s tech and the one to wipe out Florida on both coasts. Count it.

AH_C on October 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Cuba will bring many times the resources of a BP to the table, in case of accident.

MNHawk on October 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Actually…

Castro merely has to give all those thugs and criminals in Cuban prisons (like the Mariel bunch back in the day) or those hanging around Cuban cities unemployed, a new Speedo and a bundle of oil absorbent cloth/pads and tell them to swim to Key West and freedom.

The oil slick is cleaned up…I am sure thousands and thousands of Cubans would love a shot at getting to Key West, new Speedo and all. Castro gets rid of the oil slicks, we get the fouled rags and a bunch of new refugees.

Sounds like a Havana plan.

coldwarrior on October 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM

So our lack of drilling leaves our coast no safer from the dangers of spilled oil, but does mean that we don’t get any.

TexasDan on October 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

No, it actually makes our coast *less* safer. I guarantee those folks drilling on Cuba’s behalf aren’t held to the same higher standards of safety and operation as our rig would be.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Cuba & China drilling is ‘safe’ off of Florida coast but USA drillers banned? Next you’ll tell me we’re subsidizing Soros owned Brazilian off-shore oil drilling with tax-payer debt dollars and sending troops to protect Soros owned oil drilling in Uganda.

Wait… we are?

DANEgerus on October 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Just to clarify, the semi-submersible drilling rig is owned by Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian ENI. It will be drilling for Repsol, a Spanish company. There are likely other oil companies in the consortium for this lease, with Repsol being being the managing partner.

This rig is capable of drilling in depths of 12,000 with a maximum drilling depth to 50,000 feet.

Kermit on October 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

FYI, the deepest well (vertical depth) ever drilled was by Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon in the Tiber field to the depth of 35,000 feet.

Kermit on October 19, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Here is the link to the drilling rig owner’s website with the particulars http://www.saipem.com/site/article.jsp?idArticle=5430&instance=2&node=2012&channel=2&ext=template/37DueColonne&int=article/1DefaultArticolo.

I am aware that Petrobras has opted out of its leases with Cuba, due seimic surveys did not show promising formations for oil/gas production. I do not know who Repsol is partners with in this lease, as it is normally at least 3 companies with one taking the leading role and management.

Kermit on October 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

He is the DOTUS !!

He’s got Chu over there at Energy and now he’s going to get this new guy at Commerce that is the Fox guarding the Hen House.

PappyD61 on October 19, 2011 at 1:07 PM

We all knew Obozo was sitting on all the drilling permits, but who knew the rights would be sold off to everyone else? It certainly wasn’t exposed by the MSM. It looks like the rush is on to sell off all the rights to foreign entities rather than allow American companies and workers to tap the energy resources readily available. The socialist plan to keep workers unemployed, energy costs even higher, while chasing green energy that is 20 years away from anything viable, is in high gear.

Must be Obozo is expediting his plan to destroy the country in case he runs out of time in 2012.

stacman on October 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Administration officials will tell nervous congressmen this week that the U.S. will inspect the China-made drilling rig before the Spanish energy company in charge of the project, Repsol YPF SA, moves the rig into Cuban territory.

Yeah, right. So, what, we’re gonna send a carrier task force, and force them to allow us to board the rig? Uh-huh.

Anyway, what’s there to worry about, with the quality of a Chinese-built rig? ///////

Ward Cleaver on October 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Gee, I wonder if the Cubans will comply with EPA regulations on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

If an oil slick washes up on Key West, whose @$$ will Obama kick?

Steve Z on October 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Steve Z on October 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Obama will give them a pass. After all, they were just trying to spread the wealth around.

coldwarrior on October 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

They drink our milkshake. They drink it up.

Red Cloud on October 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Draaaaaaaaaiiiinnnage!!!!!

connertown on October 19, 2011 at 2:21 PM

He’s going to inspect the rig.

I’m sure that makes everyone feel better.

Check me if I’m wrong, here, but weren’t we also inspecting the BP rig that blew up?

Jaibones on October 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Obama will give them a pass. After all, they were just trying to spread the wealth around.

coldwarrior on October 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Exactly. I suspect the conversation in the White House went something like this: “No…we should let this one go to the Cubans. After all, at some point I think you’ve earned enough money and besides, the communists are really spreading their wealth around nicely.”

Jaibones on October 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Check me if I’m wrong, here, but weren’t we also inspecting the BP rig that blew up?

Jaibones on October 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

And gave them a safety award to boot!!! I realize the safety award was before the explosion, but would anyone here really be surprised if, for the right contribution, a safety award was given after as well?

runawayyyy on October 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM

what do you get when you run two tree hugging bunny humpers together?

upinak on October 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

More of them.

Hiya Ciska on October 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Will Greenpeace be sending the Rainbow Warrior vessel out to protest/blockade?

Castro and the Chinese would be gentle with them, I’m sure.

iurockhead on October 19, 2011 at 5:58 PM

canopfor on October 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Who is gonna win this one?

Not us.

coldwarrior on October 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

coldwarrior:I apologize for the late responce,in Obama`s Grand Plan
its his Environmentalists,that are serving,in his admin
itration,that must be controlling him,er,advising him,
on the Gulf!:)

canopfor on October 20, 2011 at 12:44 AM