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Posted September 20, 2005 by publisher in Cuba-World Trade

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ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has acquired a 30 per cent stake in seven oil and gas blocks in Cuba, which hold more than 4 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Spain’s Repsol-YPF is the operator of the Block 25-29, 36 and a part of Block 35 with 40 per cent stake and the remaining is with Norway’s Norsk Hydro.

“OVL has entered into an agreement on September 15 with Repsol-YPF of Spain to acquire 30 per cent participating interest in the deepwater exploration Blocks 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36 and part of Block 35 in Cuba,” a company press release said in New Delhi.

The acquisition, which marks OVL’s first foray into the Cuban oil and gas industry, will be completed after formalisation of the contract by the Cuban government.

The blocks are spread over an area of nearly 12,000 sq. km in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cuba.

“The hydrocarbon resource potential in the blocks is estimated to be in excess of four billion barrels. One exploratory well drilled in one of these blocks indicated presence of hydrocarbons,” the release said.

These blocks are in the third exploration period. Work program during this period includes acquisition of 3,000 sq km 3-D seismic data. Drilling wells on selected prospects will be decided in the next exploration phase.

“With proven presence of petroleum system in Exclusive Economic Zone, Cuba, the area has drawn attention of many international oil companies. The blocks have good potential and are especially significant for OVL as they would open the doors to other opportunities in the Latin American hydrocarbons sector. With this acquisition, the company is now present in 13 countries,” OVL Chairman Subir Raha said.

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