LatinNews Daily - 20 September 2023

In brief: Cuba and Venezuela strengthen hydrocarbons cooperation

* Cuba’s state-run oil company Unión Cuba-Petróleo (Cupet) and Intevep, the R&D subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil company (PDVSA), have signed an agreement for joint projects related to value chains in the hydrocarbons industry, such as exploration, production and refining of hydrocarbons, among other activities, according to Cuba state mouthpiece Granma. Granma cites Cupet’s technical director Isis Dávila Rodríguez as saying that the agreement renews bilateral cooperation in this area following an initial technological agreement it had with Intevep which concluded in 2014 but was not renewed. The announcement comes as an Australian company, Melbana Energy, which has been drilling for petroleum in Cuba for years, announced a significant discovery in the Alameda-2 well: on 28 August Melbana praised it as a “tremendous success”, with the Alameda-2 well flowing at rates of 1,903 barrels per day (bpd) of oil with an API gravity of 19 degrees at peak during a test. A 19 September report by Norwegian-headquartered specialised news site Upstream Online describes the discovery as “potentially transformative”. It cites Cupet general manager Juan Ballestero as saying that Cuba currently has 41 onshore and shallow-water blocks, including eight areas under contract, five under evaluation and two under negotiation.

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