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Cuba's Lackluster Oil Exploration

Another offshore well in Cuban waters has been declared a failure, according to Cuban media. Although oil was found, the rock was too dense to allow p...

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|Aug 6|magazine4 min read

 

Another offshore well in Cuban waters has been declared a failure, according to Cuban media. Although oil was found, the rock was too dense to allow production to continue under Malaysia's giant state-owned oil company Petronas and Russia's Gazprom Neft.

The well drilled showed “the existence of an active oil system,” but the “rocks are very compacted and don't have the capacity to deliver significant quantities of oil and gas,” meaning it “cannot be qualified as a commercial discovery,” according to the Granma newspaper.

The failure comes as a low blow to Cuba's hopes in tapping offshore oil fields to help it achieve energy independence. The country currently relies heavily on socialist ally Venezuela and its weakened, cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez to meet its oil needs.

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In May, Spain's Repsol hit a dry hole in Cuban waters and said it will probably pull out of exploration in the country after 12 years of operations and two unsuccessful wells.

Petronas and Gazprom are evaluating data and conducting seismic studies in search of another possible opportunity, according to Granma. Meanwhile, the rig Petronas used to drill in 7,408 feet off Cuba's northern coast will be passed on to Venezuela's PDVSA to drill a well off Cuba's western tip.

 

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