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OVL’s Cuban deepwater block yields two oil & gas leads

ONGC Videsh (OVL), the foreign investment arm of Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has found two significant hydrocarbon (oil and gas) leads in a Cuban deepwater exploration block where it has a 30% stake.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 24, 2009, 01.06 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: ONGC Videsh (OVL), the foreign investment arm of Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has found two significant hydrocarbon (oil and gas) leads in a Cuban deepwater exploration block where it has a 30% stake. The leads are likely to result into major hydrocarbon discoveries, people close to the development said.

An official in the oil ministry, who wished not to be named, said: ���...(Out of the two leads) one is expected to be drilled during the year 2009.��� The size of the finds can be ascertained only after the completion of the drilling work. Sources close to development said the two prospects could be Yari and Jaguey in one of the six blocks held by the consortium where OVL is a partner. ONGC officials could not be contacted for confirmation.

Currently, blocks are under the third period of exploration with the completion of three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data for 3,000 sq km. ���One well is planned to be drilled after evaluation of G&G (geological and geophysical) data. Provisional plan has been made for the second well also,��� one of the sources, on condition of anonymity, said.

OVL had acquired 30% participating interest in Spanish oil company Repsol-YPF���s Cuban deep water exploration blocks 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 36 in 2005. The other partner of the blocks, StatoilHydro (erstwhile Norsk Hydro) of Norway holds a 30% interest. Repsol is the operator of the blocks.

The acquisition had marked OVL���s foray into Cuba���s oil and gas industry. According to OVL���s website, the blocks are spread over nearly 12,000 sq km in exclusive economic zone of Cuba. The hydrocarbon resource potential in the blocks is estimated to be in excess of 4 bn barrels. An exploratory well, drilled in one of these blocks, had indicated the presence of hydrocarbons.

OVL also owns two other exploration blocks in Cuba. It signed production sharing contracts for the two blocks ��� 34 and 35 in September 2006. The two deepwater blocks, spread over around 4,300 sq km, are at a depth of 200-2,000 metre.
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