Drilling Offshore Cuba to Begin in October

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Construction of the Scarabeo 9 platform in Singapore will be completed by the end of June, Saipem SpA, the oil services company that owns the deep-sea drilling rig, said in its first-quarter report.

Assuming the semi-submersible leaves July 1 and an anticipated 60- to 80-day transit, it should arrive in Cuban waters by September. Scarabeo 9 could then begin drilling for a consortium led by Repsol YPF “sometime in October, worst-case and no weather- or other related delays,” said Jorge Piñón, a Miami-based oil industry expert.

Scarabeo 9 is currently under construction at the Keppel Fels Shipyard in Singapore. Arrival had originally been expected for early this year. Saipem cited “modifications requested by clients and a delay in the construction schedule” in its quarterly report. Construction of Scarabeo 9 is complicated by U.S. content restrictions.

“Everybody is anxious,” Basic Industries Ministry official Rafael Tenreyro told reporters during a recent oil conference in Havana.Ninety-nine percent of the platforms are late. It’s normal, it’s not extraordinary.”

Once the Repsol assignment is done, the Scarabeo 9 is scheduled to perform at least four more exploratory drills through 2013 for other oil companies in Cuban waters. The drills will be in water depths between 400 meters (0.25 miles) and 1,500 meters (1.6 miles). Six companies and consortia have contracted offshore 22 blocks in Cuba.

Cuban officials are hopeful to tap big oil and gas reserves in the Gulf, saying that foreign oil companies have identified more than 20 prospects for commercially viable finds.

Cuba Standard

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Posted on April 22, 2011, in AMERICAS, China, Cuba, Drilling, Natural Gas, Singapore, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Drilling Offshore Cuba to Begin in October.

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