Interesting. Why would Sherritt want out?
Sherritt drops plans for drilling off Cuba
Oil Diplomacy Editor
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17—Cuba’s state-owned Cubapetroleo (Cupet) reported that Sherritt International Corp. has canceled its agreement for operations in Cuban waters, saying the ventures were not viable.
Sherritt’s evaluation was that exploration activity was not worth continuing, an option available within its contract, said Cupet Exploration Director Rafael Tenreyro. “They have their reasons for not continuing,” he said.
Sherritt said it holds 40-100% indirect working interest in seven production-sharing contracts and derives most of its production from oil fields located at Yumuri, Varadero, Canasi, and Puerto Escondido along the north coast of Cuba between Havana and Cardenas.
The area lies in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off northwestern Cuba, where Repsol-YPF SA, StatoilHydro, Oil & Natural Gas Corp., Petronas, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and PetroVietnam continue to operate.
The EEZ covers 112,000 sq km and is divided into 59 exploration blocks which, according to Tenreyo, contain some 20 billion bbl.
Tenreyo said the estimate is based on a “very modest” calculation, since “normally in this (maritime) border zone…there are almost always one or two super-large deposits of 12-15 billion bbl.”
In April, Yadira Garcia, Cuba’s minister of basic industry, who confirmed that seismic studies were underway, announced that plans by the consortium of companies to drill in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters in 2008 had been rescheduled for 2009.
The Cuban drilling plan met with opposition from Florida Congressmen who said the drilling projects could endanger their state’s coastline and tourist industry.
The Congressmen asked the administration of President George W. Bush to scrap a 1977 treaty with Cuba that set up the zone where the drilling will take place.
“Soon there will be oil rigs within 50 miles of the Florida Keys and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) wrote in a letter to the White House.
“And, as the Gulf Stream flows, an oil spill or other drilling accident could desecrate part of Florida’s unique environment and devastate its $50 billion, tourism-driven industry,” Nelson said.
According to a report by the US Geological Survey, the North Cuba basin has potential reserves of 4.6-9.3 billion bbl of oil and 9.8-21.8 tcf of natural gas.