This amalgamation was sought due to new environmental regulations in Colombia that had caused delays in environmental licensing for the access road and drill site which would have resulted in the Operator not being able to complete the Year 1 work obligation by the anniversary date of January 10th, 2007. The amalgamation of Years 1 & 2 now requires that the re-entry of Alea 1, the drilling of Platanillo 1 appraisal well and the drilling of a second appraisal well need to be finished before the end of the second permit year on Jan 10th, 2008.
Technical Director Graeme Stephens said: "This ruling is good news for the joint venture as it will now allow the Operator, Ecopetrol, to plan and implement a logical operations program that accommodates the recently imposed environmental requirements for site access, without having to resort to the very expensive helicopter supported operation that would otherwise have been needed to try to meet the timing deadline. Early Joint Venture meetings are planned to review the Operator's new timetable for the re-entry of Alea 1, the drilling of Platanillo 1 and the drilling of an additional appraisal well, and details will be released as soon as this timetable is finalized."
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