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Oil drilling company halt Cuban operations

Published:Monday | June 3, 2013 | 10:41 AM

A Russian state oil company drilling off Cuba’s northern shores says it is temporarily halting its exploration.

Zarubezhneft said it was halting work because of geological problems but will resume oil exploration next year.

The announcement signaled an end to the only active exploration program in Cuba which now relies on highly subsidised oil from Venezuela.

Cuba reportedly relies on an estimated 96,000 barrels of oil it receives daily from Venezuela which amounts to about two thirds of its consumption.

The Russians’ withdrawal comes as the Norwegian company that owns the drilling platform they have been leasing, the Songa Mercur, said it would be leaving Cuban waters in July for another contract.


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