Foreign Firms Prospect for Cuban Offshore Oil

Foreign Firms Prospect for Cuban Offshore OilHavana, Cuba, Aug 6.- Malaysian company PC GULF and Russia's GazpromNeft, linked to offshore oil prospecting, concluded the drilling of an exploratory well in northern Pinar del Rio province, sources from the sector reported today.

According to a note issued today by Cubapetroleo, works reached 4,666 meters, in water depth of 2,258 meters and with the use of the semi-submersible Scarabeo-9 rig.

The complex geological interpretation of geophysical logs from the well, called 1X Catoche, shows the existence of an active oil system, which could spread to other parts of the four blocks hired by both companies, even beyond its limits.

However, in that point, the rocks are very compact and have no capacity to deliver significant oil and gas quantities, so it can not be considered a trade discovery.

In that sense, PC GULF and Gazpromneft continue assessing the information collected during the drilling of that well and in subsequent months, both firms will make a three-dimensional seismic survey, covering the most perspective sectors detected by the two-dimensional seismic survey carried out in 2009.

The Scarabeo 9 rig will be transferred in coming days to the Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA, to begin the drilling of the Cabo de San Antonio 1 exploration well, also in depth waters of Cuba's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Cuba's EEZ in the Gulf of Mexico, with 112,000 square kilometers, was divided in 59 blocs, 22 of them in risk contracts with companies from Norway, Spain, India, Venezuela, Vietnam, Malaysia, Angola, and Russia. (Radio Cadena Agramonte).