New York Times

January 8, 1958.  p. 88.


Oil Exploration Pushed in Cuba As Major Companies Get Rights


Special to The New York Times

            HAVANA—The search for petroleum in Cuba, which brought a rush of wildcat oil operators to the scene and created a near boom in 1954 and 1955, has settled down to scientific exploration and test drilling.

            There has been no big oil strike here despite the fact that 100,000 of holes has been drilled in the Island since may 1954. The shallow wells drilled in the small fields of Camaguey and Havana Provinces produced only 50 to 200 barrels daily.

            According to the Cuba Petroleum News Digest of Havana, production of petroleum in Cuba was 57,163 barrels in 1954, 381,824 barrels in 1955 and 543,121 in 1956. In the first half of 1957 193,160 barrels was produced. Some drilling is still going on in the known fields but the production is declining.

            Many of the independent oil companies have turned their leases over to major companies. These companies plan to drill several deep test wells this year.

            Cuba’s consumption of petroleum products is from 55,000 to 60,000 barrels daily.

            The refining capacity of Cuba will be increased to 85,000 barrels a day by the middle of the year. Shell-Mex Petroleum Company, a member of the Royal Dutch-Shell group, has constructed a 28,500 barrel plant on Havana Bay. The Texas Company is now completing a refinery in Santiago de Cuba and the Esso Standard Oil Company has expanded its refinery at Belot, just across the bay from Havana, to 35,000 barrels daily. All the petroleum refined with the exception of the small Cuban production, is imported.


Cuba Gets New Map

Topographical Survey Cost Government $1,000,000


Special to The New York Times

            HAVANA—A topographical map of Cuba has just been completed, and copies will soon be available. Cuba is the first country in the Western Hemisphere to have such a map on a 1:50,000 scale.

            The map consists of 324 pages 18x24 inches in five colors. It was made from 4,000 aerial photographs taken at 30,000 feet. Each map shows eighteen square miles. The Government has ordered 5,500 copies.

            The work, which was carried out by the Aero Service Corporation of Philadelphia, required a year and cost the Government $1,000,000.