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E & P News

2017

Mar 2017: Melbana Energy (100%) has provided an update on its onshore Block 9 PSC. The company has defined 19 key prospects, including Alameda Prospect with multiple targets. A 2-well exploration programme is planned for 2018, costing up to US$30 mm.

2015

Oct 2015: Cupet said that 2 exploration wells will be drilled in deep waters of the GOM by the beginning of 2017 under PSCs with PDVSA and Sonangol. Cuba imports around 100,000 bbls per day of oil from Venezuela. (Globalshift notes: drilling by 2017 and financed by PDVSA is very unlikely).

Jul 2015: Leni Gas (LGC) has increased its holding in Petro Australis to 10.69%. It secured a 40% back in right to Block 9 through MEO in 2014 . Block 9 covers  2,380 sq kms on the north coast of Cuba and contains the Motembo field, discovered in 1881 and abandoned in 1993.

May 2015: There is little interest in new exploration off Cuba after 3 exploratory wells failed to find hydrocarbons in 2012. Several foreign firms have explored but only PDVSA and Zarubezhneft retain rights. Other companies are extracting onshore heavy oil along a NW belt stretching from Havana to Villa Clara and reaching 5 kms offshore.

2014

Dec 2014: MEO (100%) has agreed terms for entry to the Block 9 onshore PSC on the northeast coast subject to regulatory approval. The block contains oil seeps and several small fields including the Motembo oil field discovered in 1881. It is close to the Varadero field and has modern 2D seismic coverage and multiple wells.

Jun 2014: Sherritt has executed an agreement with the Government to extend the Puerto Escondido/Yumuri PSC by 10 years to allow for further development drilling comprising a minimum of 7 wells within 2 years. Sherritt, the largest independent oil producer in Cuba, is also awaiting approval with respect to 4 new exploratory PSCs.

2013

May 2013: Zarubezhneft has abandoned its exploration well off Cuba's north-central coast. Zarubezhneft was drilling in Block L, the easternmost of four blocks contracted in 2009. In the last year Repsol and PDVSA drilled deep water wells but all were dry. Repsol pulled out of Cuba but Petronas is continuing to conduct seismic studies in the 4 blocks it leases with Gazprom. PDVSA has retained 4 blocks at Cuba's western tip and ONGC has 2 offshore blocks

2012

Nov 2012: Cuba announced that another deep water well, Catoche-1 off western Cuba drilled by PDVSA, has been been abandoned. It is the third unsuccessful well drilled in 2012. The Scarabeo 9 semi-submersible owned by Saipem and imported by Repsol for the first wells will now leave for West Africa. Repsol is pulling out of Cuba but Petronas, which drilled the second well, continues to do seismic work. Zarubezhneft will begin drilling in shallower waters using a rig owned by Songa.

July 2012: Russian explorer Zarubezhneft secured a semi-submersible rig for a drilling campaign on a contract worth a minimum of around $88 million. Drilling was due to start at the end of 2012. Zarubezhneft is among explorers searching for hydrocarbons off Cuba after Repsol abandoned its exploration bid following a dry well on the deep-water Jaguey prospect. The rig used for that well remained in Cuba with Petronas and Gazprom Neft for a two-well campaign.

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