Songa Offshore, the Cyprus-headquartered owner of offshore drilling rigs, announced that its Songa Mercur rig is not far from spudding its first well offshore Cuba.
The company announced in its fleet status report that the rig has set sail from Trinidad to Cuba during the first week of November. Upon arrival to the Caribbean country’s waters, the rig will start its contract with the Russian oil company, Zarubezhneft.
Zarubezhneft in 2009 signed production sharing contracts with the communist country’s oil company Cubapetroleo for two offshore blocks located in the Cuban sector of the Gulf of Mexico. In the upcoming exploration campaign the company hopes to unlock hydrocarbons hidden in Cuba’s offshore Block L.
Cuba estimates that its offshore fields hold approximately 20 billion barrels of oil, which could, once unlocked, provide a major boost to its economy.
To remind, in the past couple of months, separate exploration efforts in the Cuban waters, made by Spanish Repsol, Gazprom and Petronas consortium and Venezuela’s PDVSA, were unsuccessful. They all used the Scarabeo 9 rig owned and operated by Saipem. It has been reported that the rig will now move on a new contract to West Africa. Saipem wouldn’t comment on the matter.
Russia’s Zarubezhneft will hope to have a better luck with the Songa Mercur semi-submersible, with drilling expected to start by the end of November.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, November 15, 2012