Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) has restarted planning for a two well drilling program targeting more than 200 million barrels of oil in Cuba.

This follows the company receiving government approval for all amendments that it had requested to its Block 9 production sharing contract (PSC).

In parallel with its discussions with prospective farm-in partners to help fund the proposed 2020 drilling program, the company has started the process of extending the various drilling, environmental and other permits and access agreements it currently holds.

The company has also resumed discussions with drilling and other service providers that had previously tendered or expressed interest in the program.

It has already identified at least one new rig in Cuba that may be suitable and available about the time that it requires it.

The onshore Block 9 PSC covers 2344 km2 and is located on trend with the multi-billion barrel Varadero oil field.


In other energy news today:

Up to the north, Sun Resources (ASX:SUR) has received the first of three permits required to drill its first well at the previously producing Bowspirit oil project in Louisiana.

The remaining permits are expected to be granted within the next 30-45 days.


Armour Energy (ASX:AJQ) has started drilling the Horseshoe-4 development well to assess both the conventional and tight gas potential of the regional Permian and Triassic reservoirs in the Myall Creek Field, Queensland.

The company plans to connect the well to the gas gathering system immediately after it is completed and flow tested to enable commercial production through its Kincora facility.