[ View the story "Oil and natural gas reported near Puerto Rico" on Storify] Oil and natural gas reported near Puerto Rico November 25 assessment by U.S. Geological Survey announces possibility of new petroleum resources in Caribbean.
AJAMStream· Fri, Nov 29 2013 10:19:14
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 19 million barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 244 billion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas in the Puerto Rico–U.S. Virgin Islands Exclusive Economic Zone.pubs.er.usgs.gov
News of the USGS report made the front page of Friday's El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico's largest newspaper, under the headline: "Possible extraction of Puerto Rican petroleum and natural gas."
Reaction to the story has gone viral on the newspaper's Facebook page, with thousands of likes and hundreds of shares. Several Puerto Ricans are also commenting about what this would mean to the island, currently a U.S. territory whose residents are American citizens.
Danny Copozzeillo posted that the story would lead to Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state of the Union:
"Now they will make Puerto Rico a state of the Union!"
Ahora si hacen a Puerto Rico un estado de la union!facebook.com
Others were not so optimistic. Julio César Rivera said,
"I think the [U.S.] would grant [Puerto Rico] independence, then they will invade them, bomb them, destroy the country, not reconstruct it and then steal their petroleum, the pattern that the Yankees always follow..."
Yo creo que le conceden la independencia,luego los invaden,bombardean,destruyen el pais,no lo reconstruyen y les roban el petroleo,es el patron a seguir de los yankees.....facebook.com
Many Puerto Ricans online expressed similar concern. Fernando A. Cerpa wrote,
"It is news that the local scientific community has known for a long time. The problem is that now the large petroleum interests will come to steal it and then give crumbs to the bad government for concessions. You will see that this is how it will be yet I think this petroleum can be used to help our economy. Cheap gas for all Puerto Ricans and cheap energy too!"
Es una noticia que la comunidad cientifica local sabia desde hace tiempo. El problema es que ahora vendran los grandes imtereses petroleros a robarselo y a darle migajas al mal trecho gobierno o el gobierno a regalarle conceciones. Velate que asi sera y creo que ese petroleo es nuestro para poner a correr nuestra economia a correr. Gasolina barata para los boricuas y energia barata!facebook.com
The USGS assessment noted that other parts of the Exclusive Economic Zone have no "petroleum potential."
The rest, including the Atlantic and Caribbean oceanic crusts, the Puerto Rico trench, and the Puerto Rico and Virgin Island shelf areas, have no petroleum potential and were not considered further.ogj.com
Comparative to other parts of the world, the USGS news of 19 million barrels of oil and 244 billion cubic feet (about 6.9 billion cubic meters) of natural gas is relatively small. The following charts list the top oil and natural gas producers in the world (numbers are in billions).