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Scenarios and Oportunities for Oil Exploration in Cuba


Lopez Rivera, Juan Guillermo, Jose Orlando Lopez Quintero, Centro de Investigaciones del Petroleo, Havana, Cuba


The results of a multidisciplinary study on the oil potential in Cuba, in the western con­text of the Tethys Domain and the Gulf of Mexico Megabasin show the following main aspects.

.                       • The perspectives for the discovery of new large oilfields in the overthrusted belt in the north half of the Cuban archipelago. There have been discovered more than 26 oilfields, the biggest is Varadero (3000 million barrels of oil in place), associated to the Northern Cuban Heavy Oil Belt, which contains more than. There have been concentrated the exploratory and productive efforts in last 30 years. That has allowed the rising of the equivalent production from 0,5 million tons in 1991 to 4,2 million tons in 2003 (the productions of oil in some hor­izontal wells reach more than 5000 barrels per day).

.                       • The perspectives for the discovery of giant oilfields in the deep waters of the Southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, where the Economic Exclusive Zone of Cuba is located (ZEEC). In this area is predicted the presence of three petroleum systems able to charge huge traps. Some of them with accumulation capacity up to 2800 million barrels, in at least 4 of the scenarios studied up to now: the overthrusted belt, the foreland basin, the Florida and Yucatan Platforms.

.                       • The evaluation of the ZEEC, shows the necessary conditions for the formation of oil­fields that complete the necessary requirements for exploration-production in deep waters.

.                       • A marked analogy exists between the petroleum systems and plays of the Southeast ofMexico, where are located Chiapas - Tabasco and the Campeche Sound sectors and the north and northwestern half of the Cuban archipelago and its adjacent seas.