HAVANA, Sept. 3 MEO Australia has executed the Cuba Block 9 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the national oil company Cuba Petróleo Union (CUPET) in a ceremony in Havana.
The execution of the Block 9 PSC represents the culmination of over three years of negotiations between MEO and CUPET and is MEO’s first entry into the Cuban oil and gas sector.
The Block 9 PSC area is in a proven hydrocarbon system with multiple discoveries within close proximity, including the multi-billion barrel Varadero oil field. Block 9 contains Motembo field, the first oil field discovered in Cuba.
The exploration period of the Block 9 PSC is split into four sub-periods totalling eight and a half years with withdrawal options at the end of each sub-period. MEO will immediately commence work on the initial activity of evaluating the existing exploration data in the block and reprocessing selected 2D seismic data before determining whether to proceed with a subsequent 24-month exploration sub-period that includes acquisition of new 2D seismic data.
MEO’s Managing Director and CEO Peter Stickland commented, “We are delighted to complete the execution of MEO’s first oil and gas block in Cuba. As an early mover into Cuba, MEO is now one of the few western companies with a footprint in the expanding Cuban hydrocarbon sector. The geology of the block has analogies to petroleum systems in which MEO’s technical personnel have significant experience, and we see substantial potential in Cuba overall and Block 9 in particular.”
MEO has been in discussions with CUPET since prequalifying as an onshore and shallow water operator in early 2013. Block 9 was MEO’s preferred entry block due to the confirmed presence of hydrocarbons and the close proximity to existing production and infrastructure.
Block 9 covers approximately 2,380 sq km of predominantly low lying farmland on the north coast of Cuba approximately 130 km east of Havana. It has an existing petroleum exploration dataset of modern 2D seismic and multiple wells.
MEO has pursued this opportunity in collaboration with Petro Australis Limited, an unlisted Australian company. In the event Petro Australis qualifies for participation in Cuba, it has an option, which it can exercise within 24 months, to secure up to a 40% Participating Interest in Block 9.