Ecopetrol Gives Go-Ahead to Rubiales Expansion

Ecopetrol has approved the request to expand the commercial area of the Rubiales field, located in the Meta district 148 kilometers (92 miles) from the Puerto Gaitan municipality.

This declaration of expansion means that, after evaluating the potential of the additional surface and the results obtained from preliminary oil wells, Ecopetrol decided to integrate this sector into the commercial production of the field, together with operating company Meta Petroleum.

The Rubiales Risk Participation Contract was signed on July 1, 1988. Ecopetrol has a 60% share in expenses and a 50% share in investments, and receives 60% of the hydrocarbon production after royalties.

The Rubiales field has a commercial surface of 29,447 hectares (72,839 acres), including the additional commercial surface of 7,135 hectares (17,631 acres) approved. The production plan forecasts an average daily production of 170,000 barrels a day in 2011 (including the production of the Piriri Partnership Contract). The field's current daily oil production reaches 122,500 barrels.

Rubiales is adjacent to the recently declared commercial field Quifa and the Piriri contract area, in which Ecopetrol and Meta Petroleum are also partners.

At present, Ecopetrol has an average daily production of 216 barrels at the Meta district, from direct fields such as Castilla and its share in fields operated jointly with other companies.

The extension of the commercial surface of the Rubiales field forms part of the heavy crude project, one of the axes of Ecopetrol's strategy for 2015, aimed at a daily production of one million equivalent barrels (oil and gas) by 2015.