EFE News Services
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Colombian state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol S.A. plans to explore
for oil in Cuban waters in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said.
Colombian Energy Minister Hernan Martinez announced the project
yesterday after meeting with Cuban Basic Industry Minister Yadira Garcia.
The meeting with Garcia and other Cuban officials was "very
interesting," Martinez told Efe, adding that Ecopetrol would register
with the island's National Mineral Resources Organization as the first
step in developing the project.
"Later, a group of technicians will be sent to conduct a geological
study" in Cuba's Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the
Colombian energy minister said.
The zone, off the island's northwestern coast, covers an area of some
112,000 sq. kilometers (43,240 sq. miles).
"We'll be doing that very soon, so we can later determine our
participation," Martinez said.
The minister traveled to Havana with Ecopetrol CEO Javier Gutierrez for
a 24-hour visit to meet with Cuban officials and discuss exploration
opportunities in deepwater areas within Cuba's Gulf boundaries.
Spain's Repsol YPF, Norway's Norsk Hydro, India's Oil and Natural Gas
Corporation, Malaysia's Petronas, Venezuela's PDVSA, Vietnam's
PetroVietnam and Brazil's Petrobras are operating in Cuba's Exclusive
State-owned Cuba Petroleo's exploration director, Rafael Tenreyro, said
last November that based on "very modest" estimates, about 20 billion
barrels could lie off the island's north coast, while the U.S.
Geological Survey has estimated that the North Cuba Basin holds between
4.6 billion and 9.3 billion barrels of crude oil.
The zone is divided into 59 blocks and, according to officials, only 30
of them are located at depths of less than 2,000 meters (6,550 feet).
RIGZONE - Ecopetrol to Explore for Oil in Cuba's Gulf Waters (24 June 2009)