Spanish oil and gas company Repsol YPF
A New York Times article yesterday explained that the firm is now drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba. Repsol is sinking $200,000 a day into the venture, which it launched in partnership with the Cuban government. The chances for success are slim, so for the energy concern, discovery of large energy reserves would be a major coup. But a major find would be an even bigger victory for cash-strapped Fidel Castro, which is perhaps precisely why U.S. companies are prohibited from exploring in Cuba.
Not that American corporations are not interested in the communist island nation. Halliburton
One wonders, though, whether this policy makes sense. No one wants to coddle dictators, but the track record of economic sanctions has not been stellar. Sanctions failed to change leadership in Iraq, and Castro continues to maintain a firm grip on Cuba, while the populace in each of these countries has suffered from lack of trade.
Meanwhile, the United States has re-opened relations with Libya, providing an opportunity for ConocoPhillips
The record of oil discoveries in Cuba is mixed. Petrobras
What's your opinion? Should we allow U.S. companies to drill for oil off Cuba? Discuss the Oil and Gas industry with other Fools.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Ill. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned here.