Melbana Energy seeks new partner to fund Cuba drilling

Bnamericas Published: Friday, May 03, 2019

Australia’s Melbana Energy is in talks with potential partners to develop Block 9 wells in Cuba after it terminated a farmout agreement with a subsidiary of Chinese firm Anhui Guangda Mining (AGMI) last month.

Melbana CEO Robert Zammit said in a conference call that the deal with AGMI was called off after the Chinese firm failed to provide bank guarantees and win regulatory approval. He said Melbana was talking to several companies to obtain funding to start drilling.

“If we are able to get funding finalized, the framework is in place in terms of permitting, and drilling will occur in the second half of this year,” he said. While the AGMI deal envisioned two wells this year and a third in 2020, Zammit said his company is under obligation with Cuba to drill one well by November this year.

Zammit said a recent deal with Cuba's state-run Unión CubaPetroleo to develop operations and share in the revenues from enhanced oil recovery at the Santa Cruz field was an “exciting opportunity” but he refrained from going into details as regulatory approval was still pending.

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