Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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Final trapped Chilean miner reaches surface

ABC News
  Chile miners

Dropping a "Bomb" on Cuban Oil Prospects

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Former Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) Director, Gustavo Coronel, makes some interesting observations on Cuban oil prospects in Petroleum World.

Then, after a thorough analysis, he drops a "bomb" on all prospects at the very end (#6).

1. Cuba produces about 48,000 barrels per day of oil and receives about 98,000 barrels per day of highly subsidized oil from Venezuela . The combined supply exceeds demand by about 30,000 barrels per day. I assume that some or most of this excess oil is exported by the Cubans, giving the Castro regime a welcome income at the expense of the Venezuelan people.

2. There are several oil companies active (or just present) in Cuba: Sherrit Oil Co, a Canadian company, has been the most successful and produces oil under a contract that gives them 49 percent of the production, while the other 51 percent goes to the government. Other companies such as Repsol, Statoil Petrobras, Petronas, PetroVietnam, Angola Oil Co. and Petroleos de Venezuela are in Cuba but have not established production. Repsol is the one company that is getting ready to explore offshore and has contracted the rig Scarabeo 9 for $400,000 a day, with a crew of about 200, to conduct exploration drilling starting in 2011.

3. The prospects for Cuban oil resources are essentially located offshore. In 2005 the U.S. Geological Survey made a technical estimate of how much oil could be present in this area, concluding that there might be a 50 percent probability of some 4.6 billion barrels of oil to be discovered.

It is important to comment about this estimate.

First of all, it means that there is a 50 percent probability of this amount being present but there is, of course, more than a 50 percent probability of less oil being present. As expectations for the oil to be found increase, the probabilities that these expectations will be met decrease. The amount of 4.5 billion barrels of oil represents, therefore, a convenient simplification for the purposes of discussion.

Second, the estimate represents oil in place. The lighter the oil to be found, the better the probabilities of a high recovery factor. For very light oils, depending on the production mechanism present in the reservoirs, a 50 percent recovery rate is possible. If the oil is heavy this recovery factor could be, at best, 25-30 percent of the total oil in place. The Cuban oil found so far tends to be on the heavier side. Lets assume, therefore, a recovery factor of 30 percent for the oil in place. This means that the total oil to be recovered from the Cuban offshore could be of the order of 1.4 billion barrels of oil.

Third, a total recovery of some 1.4 billion barrels will not be possible in less than, say, 30 years, again depending on the characteristics of the reservoirs to be found and the technical complexity of the activity. Usually there is a 5-8 years period of exploration and a similar period of oil field development to establish continuous production, reaching peak production after some 15 years of start-up. It is improbable that production from this area would ever exceed 200,000 barrels a day at peak production. The average production distributed during the 30-year period would be of some 120,000 barrels per day but actual production would be much less for the first 15 years and would decline after the 20th year or so.

What this all means is that any Cuban new oil production would allow Cuba to become self sufficient in oil but will not transform Cuba into a world-class exporter. At best, it would allow Cuba to export some 100,000 barrels a day for relatively brief periods of time. In the context of U.S. imported oil requirements this is a peanut. Cuba will probably never become a significant source of oil for the United States.
4. Consider also the capitals required to develop Cuban offshore oil. This will be a very costly operation and this capital can only be provided by international companies that will need to recover costs. I would not dare to make a back of the envelope estimate of costs involved but we are talking billions of dollars that will have to be invested for the first ten years, without any positive cash flow for the companies. The only way Cuba can pay back is with oil production, so that most of the Cuban oil might never see the U.S. market, considering that European, Latin American and Asian oil companies are the ones currently involved in Cuba.

5. The relationship between Cuba and Venezuela plays a crucial role in the oil and the political sectors of both countries. For the last 5 years or so Hugo Chavez has been sending the Castro brothers close to 100,000 barrels per day of Venezuelan crude oil and products. This represents a huge gift of some $3 billion per year from one dictatorship to the other, one that is deeply resented by the majority of the Venezuelan people and is basically designed to cement both dictatorships. There is no doubt that the day after Chavez is ousted from power, by whatever means, this enormous transfer of Venezuelan wealth to Cuba will cease. The energy deficit of Cuba would abruptly become enormous and its economic impact on the regime will likely lead to major political changes in Cuba. This means that Cuba will cling to Venezuelan oil desperately and that it will do all it can to keep Chavez in power. Cuba already controls much of the Venezuelan security forces and, literally, has Chavez's life in their hands, through a ring of bodyguards that have Cuban interests at heart. This is a delicate balancing act that might be disrupted at any moment, bringing chaos into Cuba and, possibly, into Venezuela.

6. The development of Cuban oil resources will not be likely without a major contribution from U.S. technology. This is not really possible under the current embargo. This means that any significant development might be delayed beyond normal technical or economic reasons by the existing political situation between the two countries.

October 12, 2010

This is what the Castro dictatorship does to women who oppose it

Cuban police last week arrested, detained and beat two members of the Damas De Apoyo, or "Ladies In Support," who have joined with the better known Damas De Blanco and other dissidents to demand the release of political prisoners. They were arrested while walking down a Havana street with a banner proclaiming,"Down with racism and long live human rights,"
Today, the outside world got a first look at how far the Castro dictatorship is willing to go to silence its opponents:
MercedesFresnedaCastillo Mercedes Fresneda Castillo
SoniaGarroAlfonso
Sonia Garro Alfonso
Photos via CubaNet.

Documentary on Cuban youth

Friends at Raíces de Esperanza asked me to share this information with Babalusians. Now, I know Raíces has caught flak from the Babalú's bloggers and readers in the past, but I also know that much of their programming has broad enough appeal for even the critics to get behind. If you ask me, this is one of those projects.
Raíces is hosting a screening of "The Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution". Here are the details:
film screening
Here are a couple of trailers for the film.


General admission is only $12.00, so buy your tickets ahead of time. You can get them at voice.raicesdeesperanza.org.  Those who choose to make a $100.00 donation will get preferred seating, entry to a VIP reception, and a copy of the film.

October 13, 2010

Dodd is proposed as U.S. ambassador

From a column in The Journal Inquirer of Connecticut by Chris Powell, the newspaper's managing editor:
(fot1) His 36 years in Congress will end in a few months but the other day Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd may have performed a service as good as any in his long career when he visited Cuba and returned calling for diminishing or ending the U.S. embargo against that country so reform might be encouraged there.
The embargo of Cuba is 50 years old but has failed to weaken the communist regime. The world long has disregarded the embargo. Indeed, it seems mainly to have enabled the communist regime to posture as the defender of Cuba's sovereignty, a sovereignty disrespected disgracefully by the United States ever since Spanish colonial rule was replaced by the imperialism of Cuba's big neighbor. Normal economic and travel relations with the United States likely would weaken or reform the regime, as such relations have done with communist China and Vietnam.
(fot) Dodd is a vigorous 66 and is not ready to retire from public life. He is fluent in Spanish and expert in Latin America. If the United States ever got sensible about Cuba, Dodd might be the best choice as the first U.S. ambassador to Havana in half a century.
To read the entire column, click here. (PHOTO AT LEFT SHOWS Philip Bonsal, the last U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, Feb. 1959-Oct. 1960.)
Posted by Renato Perez at 11:49 AM in Personalities, U.S.-Cuba relations
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October 12, 2010

Alabama project fosters educational ties

From an editorial Tuesday in The Tuscaloosa News:
(logo2) During the past eight years, the University of Alabama’s Cuba Initiative has brought UA and Cuban educators together to establish opportunities for graduate student research, teaching, and formal course work for undergraduate students at Cuban academic institutions.
But that has just been part of the mission of the initiative, which has brought scores of UA and Cuban educators, scientists, scholars, artists and baseball players together in Cuba and Tuscaloosa for cultural exchanges. The latest is Cuba Week at UA, which ends tomorrow.
The [four-day] event will have attracted more than two dozen Cuban officials, scholars and academics to the Capstone by the time it concludes. It has featured more than two dozen panel presentations by UA faculty and their Cuban counterparts in higher education to highlight collaborative research conducted in conjunction with the initiative. [...]
Formal presentations this year ranged from “The Early History and Archaeology of Cuba” to “The State of Ceramic Arts in Cuba” to “The Biodiversity of Cuba: Insights into the Marine and Terrestrial Realms.” UA students who visited the island 60 miles off the coast of Florida were also to discuss their study abroad.
Of course whenever the subject of Cuba is broached, the five-decade reign of communist dictator Fidel Castro has to be factored in, but UA Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Robert F. Olin says the interaction with Cuba was designed to be apolitical, even though he is aware that, with Castro in failing health, change in Cuba is inevitable.
“Academic scholarship and the sharing of ideas among educators is more important than ever as the Cuban people undergo a period of intense change and new opportunities,” he said.
And when Cuba finally does open itself up to the rest of the world, Alabama and its flagship university will be well positioned to build even more extensive ties with the country.
To read the entire editorial, click here.
Posted by Renato Perez at 10:59 AM in U.S.-Cuba relations, Youth
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S: Cuban Colada

Aid Cuba's prisoners

 
Mirta Ojito wrote an excellent exposé about the plight of Cuba's political prisoners, some of whom have spent 30 years rotting in jail for simply disagreeing with the brutal dictatorship that has ruined a beautiful country for more than 50 years (Feeling prisoners' agony in Cuba, Oct. 10, Issues & Ideas).
Actor Danny Glover has the right to request humanitarian visas from President Obama for the Cuban spies' wives, but why doesn't Glover also send a similar letter to the Castros requesting the same humanitarian treatment for political prisoners imprisoned on that island?
A true humanitarian would do so. Perhaps Glover could even convince the Hollywood elite to do likewise and help the people suffering in the Castros' gulag.
TONY MESA, West Kendall
Keep small class sizes
Florida legislators are the epitome of what is wrong with our system. They have decided to ask the voters to amend what the voters have already decided. If our legislators are all about education and our children, then why?
I have yet to hear anyone explain why they want to amend the class-size amendment, possibly because they can't defend their stance. I do recall then-Gov. Jeb Bush saying he would find a ``devious'' way to get around the amendment, and it seems that Florida legislators have done it for him. Floridians should get out and vote to keep our children's classes small.
PAT RIVAS, Miami
Ban campaign lies
Once again the voting public is inundated with lies and half truths from all sides. The solution is simple: Make it the law of the land that candidates cannot campaign against their opponent. Campaign ads must only espouse what the candidate plans to do if they are elected.
When there are the inevitable disagreements on policy, discuss them in an open debate, face to face, with all candidates taking part in the discussion.
MIKE WARNER, Miami
Wasserman thoughtful
Kudos to Edward Wasserman for his insightful and intelligent articles. What a breath of fresh air from the rantings of the far-right Glenn Garvin and George Will. In his Oct. 11 Other Views column, World of expression undergoing a cleavage, he reminded us of the Supreme Court's disastrous ruling allowing corporations to be considered a ``person.''
This was an outrageous decision that should be vehemently challenged by all those who care about honest campaign contributions.
PAMELA JARVIS, Miami Shores
The Miami Herald

THE NOBEL OF DIGNITY

(11-12-10-9:30 PM)

By: Atty. Sergio Ramos 
Welcome for lovers of freedom has received the news of the Nobel Prizes 2010 of Literature and Peace.
Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian Spanish citizen of China and Liu Xiaobo, respectively, have been awarded the prestigious award. Both have one thing in common: Their commitment to freedom of men.
The author The City and the Dogs (1963), La Casa Verde (1966), Conversation in the Cathedral (1969), La Fiesta del Chivo (2000) among many others masterpieces of Spanish literature, which has received its fair accounted for his enormous contribution to literature.
Born in Arequipa, Peru in 1936, his childhood was spent between Cochabamba, Bolivia and Peruvian cities of Piura and Lima. He studied at the University of San Marcos Peru, is a writer, journalist and politician of international renown.
After Pen brilliant writer is a man of ideals, a Democrat, the defender freedoms and human rights. His pen, as a journalist and writer has put at the service of freedom. He has been relentless with dictatorships, no matter the style, ideology or the place where it occurs. It was and is a strong critic of the totalitarian left and the right, because Vargas Llosa is no substitute for the free man. This was reflected in his left collection of political articles Sables and Utopias (2009)
With the award, uncovered the resentment of the tyrant Castro, who did not hesitate to fill offensive epithets pages of pseudo-periodic Caribbean dictatorship.
But the howl comforts of a tyrant lovers of freedom, because it shows your weakness. His last speech at the news of the Nobel Prize was raise their voice against the cruel brothers Castro and cry for freedom awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo, demanding immediate release.
Liu Xiaobo, vertical Chinese opposition, now a prisoner of conscience by signing the Charter 08, Where the Chinese opposition claims a total change in China towards freedom and respect for human rights. Sentenced to 11 years in prison veteran of the Tiananmen protests in 1989, devoted himself from his cell award to all the heroic martyrs of that day who gave their lives for freedom of the Chinese people.
That letter points out a universal principle that applies to both the Chinese and Cuban both the Spanish and the Peruvian ... all human beings: "The rights of man are not granted by a State. "" Everyone is born with his right inherent in liberty and dignity. "
Therefore it is prisoner, the letters Xiaobo, believing and fighting for freedom and justice.
No wonder the China's dictatorial regime railed angrily against the granting of this Xiaobo deserved Nobel Prize, because it represented the recognition that struggle for human rights the Chinese people. As low and despotic is that immediately placed under house arrest, incommunicado's wife Laureate opponent.
On both sides anger and shake the world of tyrants, because the truth that the discovered that shakes to frighten those who cheat and oppress.
Nothing most dignified men who fight and defend the rights of other beings human to be free. Nothing more to honor the freedom to honor the defend. This is the case of Mario Vargas Llosa and Liu Xiaobo. Now investidos both the Nobel Prize, which in this case, means much more their respective paths as representing the Nobel Dignity.
S: New Action / LPPNEWS FrontLine Results
REPORT: FORMER MEMBER OF THE NETWORK OF THE 5 CUBAN SPIES SENTENCED IN U.S.
Indicated Writer matter   


Levy Ed Lopez, who was part of the so-called Wasp Network on Monday denied allegations from Havana that the well-known Cuban spy network had entered the United States only  to infiltrate exile organizations to detect perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on the island.

By ANTONIO MARIA DELGADO

adelgado@elnuevoherald.com This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Levy, whose identity was revealed for the first time on Monday, said the TV show A Mano Limpia that some members of the spy network to infiltrate the operations involved in U.S. military bases, assessing the possibility of smuggle arms from Cuba to Miami and one of them provided previously the weaponry used in the attack on Luis Posada Lanes in Guatemala.
"I came here because I simply do extremely annoyed such propaganda based on lies that these were fighters against terrorism. There is nothing that resembles it. These people [The rest of the Wasp Network members] were working to try to undermine the U.S. national security and function of the permanence of the Castro in power,''Levy said in  program conducted by the Dominican journalist Oscar Haza.
Claims Levy, who betrayed the presence of network spies to the U.S. authorities as soon entered U.S. come their way to a campaign promoted by Havana to free the five Cuban spies who remain in prison.
The campaign - to which artists hansumado Danny Glover and Ed Asner, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen and Oliver Stone, among others celebrities - calls for Barack Obama, to release  agents, emphasizing that these authors were only looking for a series of terrorist attacks in Cuba.
"Obama should forgive Gerardo Hernández and others. They were soldiers fighting terrorism,''Glover said recently, in a press release which says "terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch walk the streets of Miami and fund-raising dinners.'' But Levy, known as Ariel agent, noted that some of the Cuban agents spied on military bases U.S. in Panama and the United States.
"The focus of the intelligence at that time was in the Southern Command,''said Levy.
According to Levy, Havana had instructed his network of spies that trying to penetrate the Command Staff of the South, while in another occasion received a lengthy message which asks  one of the agents to analyze the movement of the authorities Coast Guard and the DEA on the coast to see if it was possible to smuggle weapons, people and explosives into the country.
One of the most active spy was the agent known as Horace whose real name is Hugo Soto, who also was operating in Mexico, where he opened a travel agency.
That agency gave him the ability to move freely Central America, where they sought information and was carrying weapons and explosives.
"He [Stewart] told me that some of these arms were related to the attack that was made in Central America, Posada  Carriles,''said Levy.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 20:07 S: Cuba Libre Digital Dispatch / translate LPPNEWS FrontLine Results