Russian operator Zarubezhneft has recorded increased production from the first in a series of new wells at an onshore field in Cuba where it is employing innovative techniques to bring very heavy oil to surface.

The company's first trial horizontal development well on the Boca de Jaruco was put into production at the rate of 52 tonnes (300 barrels) per day after application of the company’s patented catalytic recovery technique and steam injection method.

Drilling of well BJ3004 — the first of three planned probes — was completed in November after years of research and attempts by the state-owned player to find a commercially feasible way of bringing heavy oil to surface from a depth of about 600 metres.