HAVANA -- Cuban authorities say a Norwegian-owned platform has arrived in waters off the island's north-central coast for exploratory drilling by Russian oil company Zarubezhneft.
State-run Cubapetroleo says the Songa Mercur rig has been inspected and is capable of drilling as safely as possible and with minimum environmental risk. The well project is given as 21,300 feet (6,500 meters) deep and is expected to take six months.
The block in question is considered less promising than waters to the west where a super-deep-water platform drilled three dud wells earlier this year.
The Songa Mercur is owned by Songa Offshore of Norway.
Cubapetroleo's announcement was published Saturday by Communist Party daily Granma.