Colombia's ODL Pipeline Comes On Stream

Pacific Rubiales announced the start of operations of the Oleoductos de Los Llanos pipeline. This pipeline was built and will be operated by ODL, a special purpose vehicle structured for the project, where Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales hold a 65% and 35% interest, respectively.

This pipeline connects the Rubiales heavy oil field, located in the Los Llanos Basin, to the Monterrey station in the Casanare department of Colombia, where it will connect with the OCENSA pipeline, allowing for the transport of the crude from the field to the Caribbean export terminal of Covenas.

With a length of 235 km and a diameter of 24 inches, the initial capacity of the pipeline is 60,000 barrels per day, which will then increase to 160,000 barrels per day by the first quarter of 2010. With further investment the pipeline may transport up to 260,000 barrels per day. The pipeline is totally buried and was designed and built to minimize its environmental footprint.

Total investment for the project was US $530 million, excluding financing costs. During the peak of activity, the project employed 4,685 workers, most of them from the areas neighbouring the path of the pipeline.

This project, the largest of its kind in Colombia in the last decades, stands not only as the cornerstone of the development of Rubiales, but also as a key component of the future development of the hydrocarbon potential of the entire Llanos Orientales basin.

Ronald Pantin, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "With the coming on line of the ODL pipeline and the associated infrastructure field, we enter into a new phase of the development of Rubiales, reducing significantly our transport costs and eliminating the road transport restrictions. This pipeline will also play a key strategic role in the development of this emerging oil basin".

Javier Gutiérrez, President of Ecopetrol, was also quoted as saying, "This is a key strategic project for the development of the Colombian heavy crudes and it is an integral part of Ecopetrol's stated strategic goals for 2015."