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Calgary’s 24th WPC: Companies turn to Cuba following landmark onshore discovery – Upstream

  • Exploration activities in the works after Alameda find
Opportunities: Cupet general manager Juan Ballestero. (Fabio Palmigiani/Upstream)
Opportunities: Cupet general manager Juan Ballestero. (Fabio Palmigiani/Upstream)

Fabio Palmigiani, Upstream

EnergiesNet.com 09 20 2023

International oil companies operating in Cuba could be looking for additional hydrocarbon resources soon, on the heels of a potentially transformative onshore discovery made on the Caribbean island.

Australian independent Melbana Energy in partnership with Angola state-owned company Sonangol have successfully unlocked oil in Block 9 with the Alameda-1 and Alameda-2 wells, suggesting a production development could be on the cards.

Melbana praised Alameda as a “tremendous success”, with the Alameda-2 well flowing at rates of 1903 barrels per day of oil graded at 19 degrees API at peak during a test carried out a few weeks ago.

The finds have sparked new interest in Cuba, and the country’s state-run company Cupet outlined potential plays that soon could be explored.

Cupet general manager Juan Ballestero told an audience at the 24th World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, that Cuba currently has 41 onshore and shallow-water blocks, including eight areas under contract, five under evaluation and two under negotiation.

He said US-based Sherritt International has completed interpretation of 3D seismic in Block 6A and that a drillable prospect has been identified.

The company also drilled one well in Block 10 that produced small amounts of oil and gas, but water cuts soon increased substantially. Ballestero said remedial work was conducted and has not been successful.

Australian company Petro Australis Energy plans to spud an exploration well in early 2024 to search for carbonate reservoirs in the central portion of Cuba’s Block 21A-P.

The campaign will target light oil, given the proximity to the overlaying Pina field, with prospective resources in the range of 200 million barrels of oil, Ballestero said.

The Petro Australis programme is expected to cost $12 million, with the well being drilled to a final depth of 4200 metres.

Ballestero also said Petro Australis is analysing the possibility of spudding three wells in the adjacent Block 14, with drilling tentatively scheduled for 2025.

upstreamonline.com 09 19 2023

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