Cuba is planning to increase its pumped oil output from 21 million to 28 million barrels a year and start oil and gas exploitation in its exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

The current output of 21 million barrels of oil exploited on land and inshore can only meet 46 percent of the country's domestic consumption demands, said Rafael Tenreyro, exploration manager at the state-run company Cubapetroleo (CUPET).

Cuba is currently importing almost 100,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela , Tenreyro added.

Cuban experts said the country’s economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico hold huge oil potentials, with reserves estimated at 20 billion barrels.

The island country expects to hook up with foreign partners to begin drilling exploratory wells in the Gulf of Mexico later this year./.