The Cuban oil company Cubapetroleo, or Cupet, is close to a deal with Angola’s state-run Sonangol to get Cuba’s deepwater energy exploration program up and running three years after work was suspended because of failure to find any oil or gas.
A Cupet official told the British energy news service Argus Media that the two companies expect to begin operations next year on two of four areas of the Gulf of Mexico off the Cuban coast based on an agreement between Cupet and Sonangol signed in 2010. Cuba’s program of deepwater exploration was suspended after several foreign companies’ drilling efforts proved fruitless.
Those companies included Malaysia’s Petronas, Russia’s Gazprom Neft, Spain’s Repsol and Venezuela’s PdV.
The bulk of the Cupet-Sonangol deal was closed during a series of meetings last week in the Angolan capital of Luanda during a visit by Cuban Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, the Cupet official told Argus Media. All that is left to be decided is “which of the blocks contracted by Sonangol will be drilled, the sourcing of a rig and the timing of the start of work,” the official said.
Ruiz told Angolan state media, however, that production could begin as early as next year. “The first hole would be ready for production between 2016 and 2017, depending on the location of the platform,” he said after meeting with Sonangol CEO Francisco Lemos Maria.
Full article: Cuba Hoping To Kickstart Offshore Oil & Gas Industry (Oil Price)