Total Denies Cuban TV Reports of Offshore Exploration Plans

scarabeo-9
Liberian-flagged and DNV-classed, Scarabeo 9 is a semi-submersible drilling vessel that was built by Yantai Raffles. It was on contract by Repsol YPF for deepwater exploratory drilling off Cuba in 2012.

French President Francois Hollande paid a historic visit to Cuba on Monday as the first western leader to visit the country since Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales visited in 1986, according to the BBC.

According to reports, his primary message was to voice support for the repeal of the US trade embargo which has stonewalled the economic growth of the Caribbean nation since 1960. According to Cuban TV reports, as reported by Reuters, an agreement was also signed by French energy major Total with Cuban state oil monopoly CubaPetroleo (Cupet) to conduct oil exploration off the coast of Cuba.

That report however, appears to be false.

French news site Le Figaro reports an agreement had been signed between Cupet and Total, however the agreement was centered around the selling petroleum products, according to a statement they received from a Total spokesperson. “The agreement was not about oil exploration at sea,” according to the statement.