Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Cuba "will sign in the presence of Brazilian President Lula a very important agreement for oil exploration in deep water".
Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobas has signed an agreement with its Cuban counterpart Cuba Petroleo for deep-water exploration that would allow it to produce oil on the communist-run island during a two-day visit by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Silva was coming to Cuba after attending the IberoAmerican summit in El Salvador. He presided over a signing ceremony between Brazil's Petrobras and Cuba Petroleo yesterday.
Cuba relies on foreign partners to produce 60,000 barrels of oil a day, but earlier this month, Cuba Petroleo exploration manager Rafael Tenreyro Perez said that offshore reserves have the potential to produce 20 billion barrels of oil, more than double the previous estimate.
Brazilian officials have hinted in recent months that they would like to see their country become nearly as important a trade partner for Cuba as Venezuela and its socialist president Hugo Chavez, who ships nearly 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the island at favorable prices.