Ecopetrol, S.A. and Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue the evaluation of Synchronized Thermal Additional Recovery (STAR) technology at the Rubiales field, located in Los Llanos Orientales basin in Colombia.
The evaluation is aimed at determining the feasibility of applying the technology at a commercial scale, with the purpose of increasing the recovery factor of the field, i.e., the volume of reserves that can be produced. Both companies are of the opinion that the utilization of this technology will leverage the continuous development of the heavy oil resources in the Colombian basins.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Pacific Rubiales will coordinate and finance laboratory tests, already underway in Canada, from which it will determine the engineering parameters to develop a pilot project to be implemented in a selected number of wells at the Rubiales field.
The Memorandum of Understanding not only outlines the mechanisms by which both companies will ascertain the success of the tests and pilot project, but also establishes a path forward to the structuring of an eventual contract between the two of them for the commercial application of the technology in the Rubiales field.
The STAR technology is based on concepts of "in situ" combustion, modified by Pacific Rubiales' proprietary knowledge and experience to suit the specific physical conditions of the Rubiales reservoir and the specific drainage pattern used in the present primary recovery development.
The Rubiales field is presently producing a little over 58,000 barrels per day of heavy crude and is operated by Meta Petroleum (a 100% affiliate of Pacific Rubiales) under the Rubiales Risk Participation Contract and the Piriri Association Contract, in which Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales hold 60/40% and 50/50% interests, respectively.
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