Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. has received the environmental license from the Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales ("ANLA") required to increase water injection by an additional 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) at its Rubiales onshore oil field in the Llanos basin in eastern Colombia.
The Rubiales heavy oil field is the single largest producing oil field in Colombia currently, with over 165 million barrels of oil per day (MMbopd) average total gross field production in 2011. Pacific Rubiales has an approximate 41.8% gross working interest and is operator of the field. The Colombia national oil company Ecopetrol SA ("Ecopetrol") holds the remainder of the working interest.
Ronald Pantin, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented:
"Receiving the water injection licence is crucial as it will allow us to increase total oil production in the giant Rubiales field to a target level of 190 MMbopd by the end of this year, up from 172 MMbopd during the first half of the year. We have pre-built the necessary water injection facilities and have oil behind pipe, which will allow us to increase oil production relatively quickly.
We are pleased that the Colombian environmental authority has been able to grant this licence which provides such an important revenue source for the Company, our partner Ecopetrol and for the country through its share from royalties, taxes and spin-off economic activity. We also recognize the efforts the ANLA has made to enhance and streamline the process to speed up licenses for oil producers in Colombia. We look forward to working with them in obtaining additional licenses required for the construction of producing facilities at the Quifa North oil field, additional water injection at the Rubilas and Quifa SW fields, and with respect to exploration of the Company's new oil discoveries, prospects and leads on the CPE-6 E&P block to the southwest of the Rubiales field."
In addition to the water injection license just received, the Company is expecting to obtain commerciality approval for the development of the Quifa North oil field from its partner Ecopetrol, and the environmental exploration license from the ANLA required to commence its planned exploration program on the CPE-6 E&P block, in the third quarter of 2012.
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