New Delhi: ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), is evaluating options of staying put in Cuba after its Spanish partner Repsol YPF failed to find an oil and gas in an offshore well.

"There were two prospects identified for drilling. It is true that one has turned out to be dry. The partners will now have to evaluate if the second prospect has to be drilled," a company official said.

Repsol, OVL and Statoil of Norway - the third partner in a grouping of six deepsea exploration block in Cuba, would meet shortly to evaluate results of the Jaguey-1 exploration well.

"If Repsol decides to exit from the block, OVL management will take a call separately if the company needs to stay put considering we have other deepsea block in Cuba," he said.

The Jaguey-1 exploration well drilled by Repsol and partners Statoil of Norway and OVL on deepsea Block N26, in Cuba's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico, did not yield any oil and gas find.

The three partners had initially been due to drill a total of two wells using the Chinese-built offshore drilling rig Scarabeo 9, which had been specially contracted so as not to contravene the US trade embargo.

Repsol announced on May 18 that its long-anticipated well in the Florida Straits near Havana had come up dry, which followed its first unsuccessful well in the same area in 2004.

They are only offshore wells drilled in Cuba.

OVL holds 30 percent interest in an offshore exploration block in Cuba covering the six areas (N25/26/27/28/29/36).

Repsol holds 40 percent in the 11,231 sq km block. Statoil Oil and Gas AS have the remaining 30 percent interest.

The Indian firm has so far spent about USD 27 million as its share of investment in the block.
The official said OVL is not abandoning deepwater Blocks 34 and 35, where it holds 100 percent interest with operatorship.

The Blocks located in Cuba's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) cover an area of 4,300 sq km. The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Blocks was signed on September 10, 2006.

The company has so far invested about USD 42.99 million in the blocks.


Latest News from Business News Desk