Photo: PDVSA oil rig
A well drilled by Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico also has turned up dry, the Communist-ruled island’s official media reported Friday.
This latest well, drilled with the Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 rig, “offers no possibility for commercial development,” the press reported Friday, citing a statement by Cuban state oil firm Cubapetroleo.
It marked the third failed bid to find oil off Cuba’s coast in 2012, following earlier attempts with Scarabeo 9 by Spain’s Repsol and then a joint venture of Malaysia’s Petronas and Russia’s Gazprom Neft.
Despite the failure of this latest effort, PDVSA will continue “to participate in the exploratory campaign in Cuban waters,” Cupet’s statement said.
Cuba’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is divided into 59 blocks, of which 22 are under contract to foreign oil companies.
The Cuban government estimates that the zone may hold 20 billion barrels of petroleum, while other estimates range from 5 billion barrels to 9 billion barrels.
Cuban oil production has remained unchanged at some 4 million tons annually for the past five years.
Global oil power Venezuela, cash-strapped Cuba’s main ally, provides the Communist-ruled island with an additional supply of more than 100,000 barrels per day of subsidized crude and derivatives in exchange for services, mainly in the healthcare, education and sports sectors.