Cuba's oil and gas output unchanged in 2009

Jan 10, 2010 01:00 AM

Cuba produced some 4 mm tons of oil equivalent in 2009, roughly the same amount as the previous year, and is now setting its sights on exploring new deposits with the aim of replacing output from fields that have slid into decline.
The 4 mm tons of oil equivalent extracted last year include around 3 mm tons of crude and an amount of natural gas equivalent to 1 mm tons, the head of exploration for Cuban state oil company Cuba Petroleo, Rafael Tenreyro, said in a report.

The expert said that production last year remained almost unchanged relative to 2008, when 4 mm tons of oil equivalent was produced. Tenreyro added that some oil fields are reaching maturity and entering into a period of decline and that therefore finding replacement reserves is paramount.
The Cupet official said efforts to explore for and evaluate new deposits will encompass the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and areas along the island's northern coast, particularly the so-called "heavy crude belt" between the western provinces of Havana and Matanzas.

Several foreign oil companies -- including Spain's Repsol-YPF, Venezuela's PdVSA and Vietnam's PetroVietnam -- operate in Cuba's EEZ, a 112,000-sq-km (43,243-sq-mile) area that is divided into 59 blocks.
Cupet said in late 2008 that about 20 bn barrels of oil could lie in its EEZ, while the US Geological Survey has estimated a more modest total of around 4.6 bn barrels of recoverable crude.

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