Repsol: Exploratory oil well off Cuba comes up dry

HAVANA — An exploratory oil well drilled off the coast of Cuba has proved a failure and will be capped and abandoned, a spokesman for Spanish company Repsol said Friday.

Repsol SA is evaluating the data it collected since the Scarabeo-9 drill rig arrived off the coast of Havana in January, and will determine whether to sink further wells in the future, spokesman Kristian Rix said.

It’s not uncommon for offshore wells to strike out, with four of every five coming up dry, he said, and it’s too soon to say whether other parts of Repsol’s exploration block are viable.

“Mapping an oil field is like trying to draw a map of a city when all you have is one in 10 lampposts working and a bit of a fog,” Rix said by phone from Madrid. “It’s very hard to do, so I can’t draw any conclusions from one well about the whole rest of it. These are questions that geologists will have to answer.”

He declined to say how much Repsol has spent to carry out the exploration with the Scarabeo-9, a massive platform brought to Cuba from Asia to avoid conflicts with the U.S. economic embargo and leased for around a half-million dollars a day.

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