A rig about to be completed in a Chinese shipyard is booked for seven exploratory drills in Cuban waters, beginning in early 2011, a trade association official told Reuters in Havana.
The seven projects are slated to begin in early 2011 and end in 2012, Lee Hunt, President of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) was told by Cuban officials during a visit to Havana.
The first drill will be for a consortium led by Spain’s Repsol YPF. The drilling of the Scarabeo-9 rig, owned by Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian oil company ENI SpA, would be the by far biggest concerted effort ever to tap oil in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Only two offshore test drills have been performed in Cuban waters so far; in 2006, a drill by Repsol found high-quality oil, but not in commercial quantities.
JG: Wouldn't it be ironic if Cuba finds oil on its shoreline? Uncle Sam would be sitting on Key West looking south with a handkerchief on its hands and crying: "Boo! Hoo! The Cuba embargo does not let me get any of that oil!". In the meantime, Spain, China, Italy, Vietnam, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela and Angola will have smiles on their faces.