HAVANA (AP) — A second deep-water exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico has proved a bust,Cuba’s state oil company announced Monday, dealing another blow to the island’s dreams of petroleum riches.
The drilling operation carried out by PC Gulf, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petronas, and Gazpromneftof Russia, concluded July 31 off the western province of Pinar del Rio, Cuban state oil company Cubapetroleo said in a statement.
Analysis of the findings revealed an “active petroleum system that could extend to other parts of the four blocs (sic) contracted by PC Gulf and Gazpromneft, and even beyond their limits,” read the statement, which was published by Communist Party newspaper Granma.
“Nevertheless, at that point the rocks are very compact and do not have the capacity to deliver significant quantities of petroleum and gas,” it continued, “so it cannot be qualified as a commercial discovery.”
After Repsol opted out of a contract to sink a second well and Monday’s announcement of Petronas’ failed try, the massive semisubmersible now passes to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA for an attempt near the island’s western tip.
Sonangol of Angola has an option to drill next, but after that the Scarabeo-9 is under contract to drill off Brazil with no word on when it might again be available to return to Cuban waters.