Pacific Rubiales has successfully completed the first phase of the selection process for the heavy crude development round in the Eastern Llanos Basin of Colombia, which was started in January of this year by the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (ANH). Meta Petroleum Ltd., the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, has been qualified by the ANH as a valid operator and will move into the next phase of the round, which will culminate in the award by the ANH of contracts for eight exploratory blocks. As set out in the list of qualified companies published by the ANH on June 3, 2008, Meta Petroleum joins another 11 top tier companies that have also been qualified as operators for the purposes of the bidding round.
Pursuant to the timetable established by the ANH, qualified companies must confirm their formal interest in participating in the process by June 13, 2008 and submit final bids to the ANH by June 20, 2008.
The Eastern Llanos Basin has been earmarked by the ANH as one of the most prospective areas in Colombia, and it has designed a strategy to attract the companies best qualified to face the technical and environmental challenges of the exploration and development of the heavy oil resources of the area. Meta Petroleum's experience in the development and operation of the Rubiales heavy oil field, located in the same basin, provides the company with a competitive advantage in the new exploratory block allocation process, which is expected to be completed by August of this year.
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