Cuba confident of Russian contracts for offshore oil exploration

Cuba is “almost sure” that it will sign oil-exploration contracts with Russian oil giants Rosneft and Zarubezhneft, a Cuban oil representative said in Moscow on Wednesday (June 18).

Moscow's Crocus Expo complex
Moscow’s Crocus Expo complex

That assessment was made by Rafael Tenreiro Pérez of Cubapetróleo (CUPET) in the course of the World Petroleum Congress that ends on Thursday.

“I am almost sure of signing new contracts with Russian companies,” Tenreiro told the Russian press. “Last month, we signed memorandums on mutual understanding with oil companies Rosneft and Zarubezhneft. All blocks of the Cuban shelf are accessible for strategic partners, as Cuba does not have a licensing regime.”

Next year, Cuba plans to start work on three projects that require deep-water drilling, wells as deep as 7 kilometers [4.3 miles], he said. Presumably, Russia will provide assistance.

Pérez was referring to the Russo-Cuban pacts signed in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 24, during that city’s International Economic Forum. (To read “Russian oil giant will train Cubans” in Progreso Weekly, click here.)

Rosneft's Igor Sechin, left, and CUPET's Juan Torres Naranjo signing memorandum last November in Havana.
Rosneft’s Igor Sechin, left, and CUPET’s Juan Torres Naranjo signing memorandum last November in Havana.

The four-day World Petroleum Congress is being held at Moscow’s Crocus Expo complex under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Energy and the London-based World Petroleum Council. More than 5,000 delegates are present, including 30 ministers and 400 senior managers and heads of industry organizations from more than 80 countries, according to the WPC.

The theme this year is “Responsible supply of energy resources in the developing world.” The plenary sessions have addressed issues such as conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources, the finance industry, the relationship between producers and consumers, environmental security and guarantees of energy sustainability.

On Tuesday (June 17), Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, spoke on the “Prospects for the Russian Oil Industry” at a plenary session on “Strategic Growth of the Energy Sector in the Developing World.” Sechin has signed two memorandums of understanding with Cuba in the past eight months. (To read “Raúl welcomes Russia’s top oil exec” in Progreso Weekly, click here.)

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