08/26/13 - Cuba Standard.com - Zarubezhneft starts oil recovery project
CUBA STANDARD - Using experimental technology, JSC Zarubezhneft started
drilling in the on-shore Boca de Jaruco field east of Havana Aug. 23, the
Russian state oil company said in a press release.
The enhancement project at formation E1 seeks to recover oil from abandoned
deposits through secondary methods. Cuban state oil company Cubapetróleo
(Cupet) and two Canadian companies have been extracting sulphur-heavy oil
as well as gas at the Boca de Jaruco field since the 1990s.
Zarubezhneft and Cupet signed a 25-year agreement for the enhancement
project and further exploration at Boca de Jaruco in 2011. The current
drill at layer E1 is the first of two four-year pilot projects; the second
pilot project consists of three planned wells in layer M.
The results from the E1 drill will determine the choice of technology for
enhanced oil recovery in the area, the company said. In the pilot project,
the company is applying steam technology developed at the company's
Orenburg field in Russia. Cuba is the first testing ground overseas for
the new technology. If it is successful, Zarubezhneft and CubaPetróleo will
expand their cooperation in the aging oil field, Zarubezhneft executives
said two years ago.
Zarubezhneft has been active in Cuba since the Soviet era; after a
two-decade hiatus, the Russian company returned to the island in 2009.
Most recently, the company has sunk close to $120 million in unsuccessful
near-shore drilling in Cuba. After half a year of drilling in Block L off
Cayo Santa María, Cupet announced in May that Zarubezhneft postponed any
further offshore exploration, citing "geological complications." According
to Cupet, the Russian company plans to resume offshore drilling in Cuba
next year in a second stage.
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