HAVANA, July 14 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the conclusion of a regional visit his government would help Cuba's state oil company develop offshore reserves.
Putin met in Havana with Cuban President Raul Castro during a tour of Latin American countries. Putin said Russian oil company Rosneft would help its counterparts at state-owned Cubapetroleo develop offshore Cuban reserves.
"Developing new blocks on Cuba's offshore shelf is (expected) in the very near future," the Russian president said Sunday.
Cuba has limited proven reserves of its own and relies on imports from Latin American countries to meet its energy demands.
Cuba had weighed joint partnerships with its Russian counterparts as recently as 2012.
Cuba aims to cut the amount of oil it imports from Venezuela through development of its own offshore reserves. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that, as of 2009, Cuba had less than 1 billion barrels of oil reserves.