Oxy: Latin American Output Up 97% in 2006

US oil company Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) produced a total 71,000b/d of oil last year from its operations in Argentina and Colombia, up 97% from 2005, the company said in a statement.

Specifically, Argentine output reached 33,000b/d and Colombia 38,000b/d.

Former operations at Oxy's block 15 in Ecuador, which had produced roughly 100,000b/d, have been classified as discontinued operations on a retrospective application basis.

The company's oil output in Argentina and Colombia averaged 79,000b/d in the fourth quarter of the year, up from 70,000b/d in the third quarter of 2006.

Argentine output in the fourth quarter of 2006 was down 5.4% to 35,000b/d from the same period in 2005, while Colombian production rose 42% to 44,000b/d.

NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

Oxy's total natural gas production in Argentina and Bolivia was 34Mf3/d (960,000m3) in 2006 and 35Mf3/d in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Argentine operations contributed 17Mf3/d in the year, with Bolivia producing the remaining 17Mf3/d. In the fourth quarter of 2006, Argentine operations produced 17Mf3/d, while Bolivian output was 18Mf3/d.

"We believe that we will increase sales in Bolivia in 2007 versus 2006 sales, albeit at slightly less net revenue to us [as a result of the country's nationalization process]," John Morgan, the president of Oxy Western Hemisphere Oil and Gas, said in a conference call to discuss 2006 results.

"On a unit basis, we are going to see unit growth in Bolivia. It is a very small volume metric amount as you can see from looking at our numbers," Morgan said.

"We are basically in maintain mode there. We've got good reserves and see some opportunities if the sales go ahead to do some very minor workovers and continue to increase production," he added.

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Brent Crude Oil : $49.3/BBL 0.80%
Light Crude Oil : $46.79/BBL 0.70%
Natural Gas : $3.04/MMBtu 0.97%
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