Petrobank's Colombia Output Up 17.8% in 4Q03

Canadian oil company Petrobank's production in Colombia increased 17.8% to 1,374 barrels a day (b/d) in the fourth quarter of 2003 compared to 3Q03, the company said in a statement.

The company completed its sixth Orito Caballos well (Orito-114) during the quarter, which was drilled as a follow-up to the Orito-115 well. The new well came in lower than expected and produced significant quantities of water from the lower Caballos reservoir. Petrobank is currently evaluating the rationale to plug back the well and isolate shallower Caballos zones which produced oil during early testing.

The company recently installed a jet pump on the Orito-112 well and an electrical submersible pump on Orito-113 resulting in production rates of 500b/d and 300b/d respectively of 43 degree API crude. The majority of the field's production affected by guerrilla activities in the Putumayo region has been restored and work continues with Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol to improve production in the field, the statement said.

Petrobank expects to restart drilling operations on the Orito block in 3Q04. Current production from the Orito and Neiva blocks is approximately 1,800b/d. The company's total proved reserves in Colombia year-on-year decreased 12% to 4.1 million barrels (mb). Total proved plus probable reserves increased 6% to 6.8mb worth US$60.9mn net before tax at a 10% discount rate, the statement said.

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