News listings

energy-pedia exploration

Cuba flagCuba

South America / GoM >>> Cuba

Cuba: Repsol YPF's well offshore Cuba making slow progress


15 Apr 2012

Drilling of Repsol YPF's well offshore Cuba has gone slower than expected, but should be completed by mid-May, sources close to the project said on Friday. They said drillers had encountered harder rock beneath the sea bed than expected, which combined with other minor problems, had slowed progress.

Photo - see caption
Scarabeo 9 is drilling for Repsol offshore Cuba

When drilling began on Feb. 1, Spanish oil giant Repsol YPF said the average deepwater well takes 60 days to complete, but that many drag on much longer, depending on conditions. A Repsol spokesman could not confirm on Friday the projected mid-May completion date.

This well, which is in 5,600 feet (1,706 metres) of water off the communist-run island's northwest coast, is the first of five currently planned, Cuban officials say. Cuba has said it could have 20 billion barrels in its offshore fields. It needs the oil to end its dependence on Venezuela, which ships it 114,000 barrels a day. Cancer -stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is Cuba's top ally, but island leaders worry that the oil flow could stop if he dies or loses his bid for re-election later this year.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated Cuba may have 5 billion barrels of oil and 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore, but its study covered only part of the Cuban zone.

Various sources said Repsol has been encouraged by its findings thus far, but the company has said results will not be known until the well is finished and studies are conducted. Oil experts say it will take three years or more to bring the Cuban oil on line, if enough is found to justify production.

After Repsol completes its well, it will hand the Scarabeo 9 drilling rig over to Malaysia's state-owned Petronas and its Russian partner Gazprom Neft for a second well. Then it will go back to Repsol, which has a consortium with Norway's Statoil and ONGC Videsh, a unit of India's ONGC, for another well.

The massive, Chinese-built rig, which is more than 20 miles (32 km) offshore but visible from Havana, is being leased from owner Saipem, a unit of Italian oil company Eni . Due to the longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, no American oil companies are involved in the project.

Repsol drilled a well in Cuban waters in 2004 and found oil, but said it was not commercially viable. Technological limitations imposed by the embargo made it difficult to find another rig for work in Cuba, industry sources have said.

The project has raised environmental concerns in the United States, particularly in Florida, which is 90 miles (145 km) north of Cuba and fears its shores could be damaged if there is an accident similar to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

See related article: Repsol begins deepwater exploration drilling offshore Cuba

Original article link

Source: Reuters





Bookmark and Share


A global information service for upstream oil and gas opportunities - divestitures, farmins and farmouts and licensing rounds.


Publicly Available Deals

See all deals...

Subscriber Only Deals

Current deals: 1596
Completed deals: 4052

Company Profiles

Current Company Profiles: 2278

Corporate Activity

Current Corporate Activity articles: 2383

Companies Looking

Current number of articles: 395

Company Sales

Current Company Sales articles:952

Geostudies

Current Geostudies articles: 400

How to subscribe

energy-pedia Jobs

RSS Feed Widget
See all jobs...


energy-pedia Databank

The energy-pedia databank contains links to information on the world financial and energy markets, including share prices, oil and gas prices and the global stock exchanges. Read more...



energy-pedia Glossary

A list of commonly used terms in the oil and gas industry. Read more...

Subscribe

Subscribe to the FREE
energy-pedia Daily Newsletter
Subscribe

Working Smart Logo
Polarcus Logo 149
Lynx Information Systems
Bayphase
KL Publishing
Rose & Assocs 149
Dolphin Geophysical logo 149
Union Jack Oil 149
Beagle Geoscience 149
EP Consult Energies
count geophysics
About energy-pedia

energy-pedia news is a FREE news service written and edited by E and P professionals for E and P professionals.

We don't just report the news, we give you the technical background as well, with additional information derived from our unique energy-pedia opportunities service.
Contact us

energy365 Ltd

238 High Street
London Colney
St Albans
UNITED KINGDOM

Tel: +44(0)1727 822675

Email: info@energy-pedia.com