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Haiti could have larger oil reserves than Venezuela

Amidst the utter devastation left in the wake of the earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12th, new findings indicate the existence of 3 million barrels of oil in a shallow formation offshore the island.

The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the US Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report.

Among nations in the northern Caribbean, Cuba and Jamaica have awarded offshore leases for oil and gas development. Trinidad & Tobago, South American islands off the coast of Venezuela, account for most Caribbean oil production, according to the US Energy Department.

According to French scientist Daniel Mathurin, “The Central Plateau, including the region of Thomond, the plain of the cul-de-sac and the bay of Port-au-Prince are filled with oil”. He added that “Haiti' s oil reserves are larger than those of Venezuela . An Olympic pool compared to a glass of water that is the comparison to show the importance of oil Haitian compared to those of Venezuela.”

Mathurin also stated that “We have identified 20 sites Oil…5 of them are considered very important by practitioners and policies.”

President Hugo Chavez recently announced that he would write off the undisclosed sum Haiti owes Venezuela for oil as part of the ALBA bloc’s plans to help the impoverished Caribbean nation after the devastating January 12 earthquake.

“Haiti has no debt with Venezuela, just the opposite: Venezuela has a historical debt with that nation, with that people for whom we feel not pity but rather admiration, and we share their faith, their hope,” Chavez said after the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA.

He also announced that ALBA has decided on a comprehensive plan that includes an immediate donation of $20 million to Haiti’s health sector, and a fund that, Chavez said, will be at least $100 million ‘for starters.’

01/27/2010

 

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