Malaysian firm takes over offshore Cuban well
Despite setbacks, Cuba will continue to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
HAVANA, Cuba, Thursday June 7, 2012 — Cuban officials still remain confident that black gold will be struck in the area they lay claim to in the 112 thousand-kilometre area in the Gulf of Mexico that is one of the world’s largest oil reserves.
In a recent communiqué, Cubapetroleo oil enterprise (CUPET) announced that the rig known as Scarabeo 9 is now being operated by a Malaysian company with the support of Russia to carry out drilling to the north of Pinar del Rio, which is to the west of Havana.
This announcement follows last month’s announcement by Spanish oil company Repsol that its exploratory oil well named Jaguey 1S off the northern coast of Cuba had proved a failure and would be capped and abandoned.
Repsol was the first company to explore the well, leasing the Scarabeo rig for US $500,000 a day before Malaysian oil company Petronas took it over to explore the exclusive Cuban economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
CUPET maintained that the Jaguey 1s well just kicked off the drilling campaign in the zone. Along with Repsol and Petronas risk exploration contract have also reportedly been signed with Norway’s Statoil and India’s OVL.
Furthermore, CUPET stated that once works conclude in the new well, the rig will be operated by Venezuela’s Oil Company PDVSA in a drilling area in the westernmost tip of the island known as Cabo de San Antonio.
The drilling campaign in the Cuban economic zone is aimed at finding energy resources already estimated to exist in the Gulf of Mexico, stated Cuban officials. Cuba's offshore exploratory area is said to hold an estimated to hold 5 billion to 9 billion barrels of crude.