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Gas natural | Petróleo

Parex, Ecopetrol find light oil at Colombia's Capachos Block

Energía | Energy Transition

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Parex, Ecopetrol find light oil at Colombia's Capachos Block

Canadian company Parex Resources and Colombia's Ecopetrol announced that its discovery of hydrocarbons in two formations in the Andina Norte-1 exploration well, located in Arauca, Colombia, produced a combined 3,406 b/d of light crude oil and 5.8 MMcf/d of natural gas over multiple days of testing period.

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The well, drilled to a total depth of 18,852 feet in the Capachos Block located in the Llanos Basin near the Colombian border with Venezuela, encountered oil bearing reservoirs in the Guadalupe and Une formations, Parex said Monday in a statement. Parex and Ecopetrol equally hold a 50% stake in the well.

"The presence of light crude in Andina Norte-1 confirms this is an area of great prospectivity for Colombia, and where we hope to continue consolidating findings and subsequent developments that will allow us to continue increasing oil and gas reserves," Ecopetrol President Felipe Bayon Pardo said in a separate statement Monday.

The Andina Norte-1 well, which has been undergoing production tests since June 5, has recovered 9,398 barrels of 40-degree API oil, 488 barrels of water and 14 MMcf of gas from the Guadalupe formation, Parex said. Average production from the well over an 81-hour test period was 2,785 b/d and 4.3 MMcf/d under natural flowing conditions, with a wellhead pressure of 1,420 psi. During the last 12 hours of testing, the well produced 2,892 b/d and 4.6 MMcf/d, with a watercut of 2%, the company said.

Much deeper in the Une formation, the well has recovered 1,631 barrels of 37-degree API oil, 1,173 barrels of water and 3.9 MMcf of gas under natural flowing conditions. Average production from the well over a 63-hour test period was 621 b/d of oil, 446 b/d of water, and 1.5 MMcf/d of gas.

Due to excess water, Parex expects remediation work in the Une formation to be necessary to isolate the water production. As a result, the company has suspended testing in the Une formation to continue testing the up-hole Guadalupe formation.

Parex expects to produce the Andina Norte-1 well from the Guadalupe formation. Later, the company plans to bring online combined production from the well's Une formation with that from another Une formation discovery in the Andina field. No details were revealed as to when Une formation production would come on stream.

The company now plans to move the drilling rig on the same pad where it will drill the Andina-3 appraisal well.

Parex's production from the Capachos block has been constrained in recent years due to a lack of processing capacity for associated gas production; however, a 10 MMcf/d gas-processing facility is expected to come online soon.

The company's current combined production from Capachos including contributions from the Capachos-2, Andina-1 and Andina-2 wells is restricted at approximately 5,100 b/d gross, or 2,550 b/d net. Production from the block was 1,305 b/d net in the first quarter of 2019 and 534 b/d net in 2018, according to Parex financial reports.

Calgary-based Parex will continue to pursue additional activities in Colombia.

Last week, the company was among a list of seven companies to offer 19 bids for 11 blocks in an auction hosted by Colombia's National Hydrocarbon Agency (ANH). The auction comprises efforts by the Colombian government to attract investments in onshore, offshore and unconventional projects, with aim to boost the country's oil and gas reserves and production.

-- Pietro D. Pitts, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Pankti Mehta, newsdesk@spglobal.com