Pacific Rubiales Energy announced that Oleoducto de los Llanos Orientales S.A. (ODL), a special purpose vehicle owned indirectly 65% by Ecopetrol S.A. and 35% by Pacific Rubiales, has received credit approval for a US $200 million debt facility, in Colombian Pesos equivalent, to be provided by Grupo Aval, a Colombian banking group led by Banco de Bogota.
This facility will ensure funding for the completion of Phase I of the ODL pipeline project, with only a further US $100 million required to complete Phase II. Financing of Phase II is presently being arranged by Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales via other sources.
Phase I of the project, which will ultimately connect the Rubiales field to the Monterrey station, is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2009. Phase I will see the Rubiales field connected to the main Colombian oil transportation network, significantly reducing the sponsors' costs of transportation and allowing early pumping of Rubiales' production, even before the main pumping facilities of Phase II are completed. ODL has been able to create this two-phased approach to utilizing the pipeline through the use of early pumping capacity that ODL is locating and putting in place.
This early utilization of the pipeline, in conjunction with the rescaling of the trucking currently used by the company to transport its crude, will set the foundation for ramping up the field to a production of up to 100,000 bopd in the last quarter of 2009. Current production is approximately 55,000 bopd.
Phase II of the construction of the ODL pipeline will see the pipeline reaching full capacity (160,000 bopd) by the beginning of 2010. As of this date, the sponsors of the project, Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales, have provided funding to the project in excess of the required equity contribution level and, accordingly, no further equity contributions by the sponsors are anticipated at this time.
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