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Cuban oil program accelerating
Australian energy company Melbana says conditions are good for drilling.
By Daniel J. Graeber | Dec. 6, 2016 at 6:07 AM

MELBOURNE, Dec. 6 (UPI) — A Cuban-focused oil company said it was
taking a closer look at the business climate there with the goal of
accelerating its drilling program next year.

Melbana, a company known formerly as MEO Australia, said it had a team
on the ground in Cuba coordinating with regulators and international
service providers to verify the requirements and the access to local
contractors available for a developing work program.

“So far, these investigations suggest that good quality equipment and
contractors are available for drilling in Block 9 in a reasonable time
period,” the company said in a statement.

The national oil company of Cuba, CUPET, extended its contract for early
exploration efforts in an onshore area called Block 9 by eight months to
November 2017.

Through the end of September, Melbana, one of the few Western companies
working in Cuba, said it identified reservoirs in Block 9 that combine
for an estimated 8.2 billion barrels of oil in place. The company’s best
estimate is that it could recover about 395 million of those barrels.

Melbana said it was working under the terms of a strategy announced by
CUPET to accelerate oil exploration in Cuba, where the Australian
company estimates about 45,000 barrels of oil are produced per day. The
company estimates Cuban programs have a competitive operating cost of
around $7 per barrel of oil.

“We are working towards accelerating drilling in Block 9 and we are on
track to have one or more well proposals ready by the first quarter of
2017,” CEO and Managing Director Peter Stickland said in a statement.

A thaw in relations between former Cold War foes the United States and
Cuba began in 2014. Melbana said its established position in Cuba gives
it a head-start on tapping the oil potential as diplomatic relations

Source: Melbana sees Cuba ripe for oil drilling campaign – –

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