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Sep 2023: Melbana plans to spud Alameda-3 in November 2023. Prior to this it will commence early production from Unit 1B of the Amistad reservoir in the Alameda-2 appraisal well. Units 1A and 3 of the Amistad reservoir are also productive and have been suspended for future development.

Aug 2023: Melbana Energy (operator, 30%) completed flow testing the Alameda-2 appraisal well in the Amistad Formation of Block 9 PSC. It achieved a stabilised average flow rate of 1,235 bbls of oil per day. The rig will be moved to the Alameda-1 well head and then to the next appraisal well, Alameda-3.


Nov 2022: Melbana (operator, 30%) will drill two appraisal wells in Block 9 in 2023 to assess the oil quality and reservoir characteristics of 3 formations containing moveable hydrocarbons in Alameda-1.

Jan 2022: Melbana reports oil shows and elevated gas readings in limestones of the Primary Target of the Alameda-1 exploration well in onshore Block 9. Drilling is now continuing to the prognosed base of the North Sheet interval and further information will  be available once wireline logs have been acquired. Oil had also been unexpectedly recorded at a shallower level.


No significant news in 2021.


No significant news in 2020.


May 2019: Union Cuba-Petroleo (CUPET) announced its First Licensing Round in the Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico for Production Sharing Agreements. A total of 24 blocks are on offer. In 2012 three exploration wells were drilled in the area, all with oil shows.


Jul 2018: Cupet will launch a formal bid round in December 2018 for available offshore blocks in the Cuban Economic Exclusive Zone. The announcement will be made at Cuba Energy Oil and Gas 2018 in Havana.


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.


No significant news in 2016.


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.


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.


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


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.

Jul 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.

Central America


E and P


Cuba Datafiles

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