Melbana receives extension to first exploration period of Block 9 PSC on north coast of Cuba

Melbana Energy has secured an extension to onshore Block 9 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) first exploration sub-period.

The national oil company of Cuba, Union Cuba Petróleo has given its approval to extend Block 9 PSC exploration sub-periods by eight months.

The first exploration sub-period started in September 2015 and was scheduled to end after 18 months.

This period involved an initial activity of evaluating the existing exploration data in the block and reprocessing selected 2D seismic data.

The extension of eight months until November 2017 comes with a corresponding reduction in the term of future  sub-periods. Accordingly, the overall Block 9 PSC exploration period of eight-and-half years remains unaltered, which is scheduled to continue until March 2024.

The adjustment to the exploration sub-periods enables Melbana with further exploration programme flexibility.

Melbana claimed that this adjustment is in recognition of the substantial data compilation and aggregation effort undertaken by it, which underpins the resource prospectivity assessment currently being completed.

"Melbana also looks forward to updating investors on the results of its ongoing analysis of Block 9’s full resource potential."

Melbana Energy CEO and MD Peter Stickland said: “This extension provides Melbana with additional time and flexibility to complete the first sub-period assessment programme and is due recognition of the substantial amount of work Melbana has undertaken on Block 9 since acquiring it in late 2015.

“Melbana is now well advanced in the preliminary assessment of Block 9 based on the historical exploration data, having already identified exploration potential for 8.18 billion barrels of Oil-in-Place with Prospective Resources of 395 million barrels just in the ‘Lower Sheet Play’ alone, and we are continuing to focus our efforts on the potential for early drilling opportunities in Block 9.

“Melbana also looks forward to updating investors on the results of its ongoing analysis of Block 9’s full resource potential.”

Located in the north coast of Cuba, the Block 9 PSC covers 2,380km2.

The hydrocarbon site has several oil producing fields located nearby. It also includes Motembo field, the first oil field discovered in Cuba.

Melbana, an onshore and shallow water operator in Cuba, owns 100% interest in the Block 9 PSC.