HAVANA, July 11 Russian President Vladimir Putin
said on Friday he was hopeful Russian oil company Rosneft
and Cuban state oil company Cupet could begin jointly
exploring Cuba's potential offshore oil reserves "in the very
Shortly before Putin began his six-day trip to Latin
America, Rosneft and fellow state oil company Zarubezhneft
agreed to help Cupet explore offshore in Cuba, which has limited
onshore production and depends on Venezuela for oil imports.
Putin also said a number of Russian companies were
interested in doing business in Cuba's new special economic zone
at the port of Mariel near Havana. Cuba has touted the special
zone as crucial for its development but so far no foreign
companies have signed agreements to operate there.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Daniel Trotta and