Petrobank to Start Caballos Seismic

Canadian oil company Petrobank will start a seismic study of the Caballos production zone on its Orito field in southwest Colombia this year, Petrobank president and CEO John Wright told BNamericas.

Petrobank will decide within the next two to three months on whether to use 2D or 3D for the study, which will delineate an extension to the west of the main pool. The company has identified 10 drilling locations on Caballos, most of which will be from multiwell drilling pads, maximizing economies of scale. Drilling will go ahead in parallel with a waterflood program, Wright said, adding that a pilot waterflood is scheduled for the fourth quarter, building up to a full field waterflood in mid-2004. Electrical submergible pumps (ESPs) will be used with the waterflood to maximize fluid extraction, Wright said, adding that by the end of the year 10 of 14 ESPs either approved or in the approval process would be deployed in Caballos' four existing wells.

The incremental production that Petrobank expects from Caballos is some 50 million barrels (mb) in the remaining life of the field, Wright said. Petrobank has an incremental production contract with state oil company Ecopetrol, and so submits plans for what technology to use to a joint operating committee. Orito is in the Putumayo basin, and its production since 1968 is some 22mb. Caballos is one of three production zones on Orito, where reserves of oil in place are some 1.1 billion barrels of 43 degree API light crude. The other two are Pepino, a shallow (1,500 feet) and highly productive zone where Petrobank has plans to recomplete five wells and drill eight new ones in 2004 to increase production by 100-300 barrels a day, and Villeta, where studies are still in progress. Villeta perspectives are not as bright as on Caballos and Pepino, and development would not be for another couple of years, Wright said.

Elsewhere in Colombia, Petrobank has an incremental production contract on the Neiva field, which has 250mb of oil in place, and a drilling program is planned for 2004-2005. Petrobank has spent "a little over half" of its US$45mn budget for Colombia this year, Wright said, adding that it expects to follow through with the rest of the spending as planned.

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