Given that prospects for an oil find within the Cuban Exclusive Zone in the Gulf of Mexico(ZEE in Spanish) are by no means unlikely, Cuba will, in conjunction with foreign partners, renew deep water exploration and drilling in this area, towards the end of 2016.

This will be the second such campaign and follows confirmation by the Island in the middle of last year that the results of two and a half years of prospecting and exploration by Venezuelan and Cuban experts indicate that there are potentially vast reserves of oil in the ZEE.

Officials from the state-owned CubaPetroleo (Cupet) highlighted the validity of the positive scientific position resulting from the drilling of four wells.

Given that prospects for an oil find within the Cuban Exclusive Zone in the Gulf of Mexico(ZEE in Spanish) are by no means unlikely, Cuba will, in conjunction with foreign partners, renew deep water exploration and drilling in this area, towards the end of 2016.Based on this, an announcement was made recently that in late 2016 and early 2017 drilling to depths in excess of 2,500m will commence with contracted partners PDVSA of Venezuela and Sonangol of Angolan, in the part of the Gulf of Mexico that belongs to Cuba.

Experts from the Cupet company have since undertaken a series of seismic tests and electromagnetic and aeromagnetic marine studies.

Company management and experts coincide that both prospecting and exploring are very complex and costly multi-dynamic activities which is why an integral body of research is required in order to promote scientifically based opportunities for inclusion in the list of businesses open to foreign investment.

Specialists also reiterated that it is on the basis of all the available research compiled that interest has been renewed and decisions have been taken, lending a degree of scientific assurance to investors.

The decision to resume drilling wells, taking these new indicators and interpretations and how best to exploit them into account, confirm the initial concept of 15 years ago regarding oil reserve potential within the zone.

Cupet is hoping to discover oil in the 112,000km square ZEE, which is divided into 59 blocks, 11 of which are contracted for joint ventures involving foreign capital.

Even with assurances about finding oil, this is an enormous challenge because of the complex geological profile and the extremely deep waters of the zone.

There are some 120 billion (thousand million) recoverable barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, meaning that it is one of the world’s greatest sources on a par with North America and the Middle East.

The research indicates that the future of marine oil exploration in Cuba lies in the deep and very deep waters of both the ZEE and territorial waters. There are presently 8 land blocks under contract and a further three under negotiation with companies from, Canada, Russia, Venezuela, Australia, Angola, Vietnam and Colombia, among other countries.

Given that Cuba is an economically blockaded and underdeveloped nation, this joint venture production model offers a beneficial option for exploration and drilling to which as of yet undiscovered wells, employment by foreign companies, fresh capital, modern technology and best exploitation practices all contribute.

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