A joint venture of Melbana Energy and Sonangol is getting ready to spud the first of two highly anticipated appraisal wells on the potentially large Alameda oil discovery in Cuba.

The appraisal wells are designed to assess oil quality and reservoir characteristics in three hydrogen-bearing formations encountered while drilling Alameda-1 in Block 9.

The first appraisal well (Alameda-2) will evaluate the shallowest hydrocarbons found in the Amistad formation and the second appraisal well (Alameda-3) will evaluate the two lower reservoirs Alameda and Marti.