Ongoing Oil and Gas Licensing Round in Cuba

Although underexplored, two oil-bearing provinces have been identified in Cuba and there is plenty of open acreage available in the ongoing oil and gas licensing round.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 5 - 2019


Ongoing Oil & Gas Licensing Round in Cuba

In June Cuba announced the opening of its first licensing round, with 24 blocks available, all of which lie offshore to the north and west of the country in water depths of between 500 and 3,000m. Cuba-Petroleo Company (CUPET) has now confirmed that the last stop of the roadshow it is undertaking to promote these blocks will take place in Havana on 27 November as part of the Cuba Energy, Oil and Gas Conference 2019, and the bidding process will close on 29 May 2020, with the award of licences being announced on 1 July 2020.

Two oil-bearing provinces have been identified in Cuba. The blocks on offer all lie within the Northern Cuban Province, which is about 1,000 km long and up to 100 km wide with over  10 km of sedimentary fill and includes the highly faulted and folded overthrust belt along the northern Gulf of Mexico. South of this is the Southem Cuban Province, which includes a number of Cretaceous–Tertiary basins.

Cuba produces about 50,000 boepd, mostly from fields along its northern coast in the overthrust belt, including the large Boca de Jaruco and Varadero fields. Some of these fields lie offshore and are accessed by drilling extended-reach wells from onshore into the Gulf of Mexico. Targets are Late Jurassic–Cretaceous fractured carbonates sourced from Jurassic deepwater clayey carbonate facies and sealed by Tertiary shales. In 2012, three deepwater exploration wells were drilled in the area covered by the licence round, but did not find commercial quantities of oil, although they all had oil shows, which according to biomarkers originated in Late Jurassic source rocks. 

To assist in understanding the complex geology of the deepwater offshore north-west of Cuba, in 2017 BGP undertook a multiclient survey and acquired 25,000 km of 2D long-offset, high resolution, broadband seismic and gravity data. With data having been obtained to a depth of 10–12 km, this has provided valuable information concerning basement depth and sedimentary thickness and will help with a regional interpretation of the area. BGP mapped a number of leads and the results suggest considerable potential, with an estimate of possibly more than 10 Bbo recoverable.

Further Reading on Oil and Gas Activity in Cuba

Promising Oil and Gas Opportunities in the Caribbean
The Caribbean currently offers an unprecedented number of hydrocarbon exploration opportunities, with promising potential in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua and The Bahamas.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 4 - 2019

Cuba Re-launches Offshore Oil Exploration
A fresh look at a clearer image: new PSTM data reveals significant exploration potential of the Cuba Exclusive Economic Zone (CEEZ).
This article appeared in Vol. 15, No. 6 - 2018


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