Sudamericanos to Hike Palanda, Pindo Production

- Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Sudamericanos to Hike Palanda, Pindo Production

Spanish oil company Petroleos Sudamericanos and partners plan to complete a US$36mn investment program to further hike production in Ecuador's Palanda-Yuca Sur and Pindo marginal oil fields to 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) by end-2002, Petroleos Sudamericanos general manager Fernando Martinez-Fresneda told

Sudamericanos and its consortium partners - Argentina's Petrolera Comodoro Rivadavia (Petroriva) and Fosforeda - received control of the Palanda-Yuca Sur and Pindo marginal fields in 1999 from Ecuador's state oil exploration and production company Petroproduccion.

The fields had been practically abandoned, and had only three producing wells between the two fields, with Pindo producing 450 barrels per day (bpd) and Palanda 300 bpd.

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After well workovers and reentrance the companies have increased current production to 2,200 bpd in Pindo and 1,500 bpd in Palanda, of 23-24 API grade crude oil. Total investment to date has been US$10mn.

The partners will invest US$20mn this year and US$6mn in 2002 through equity funding to complete a second development phase for the fields. The second phase includes acquiring 185 sq. km of 3D seismic information and drilling 14 development wells and two exploration wells.

The company expects to complete the seismic studies in three months before deciding the location of its exploration wells. Currently it is working on three development wells: one is producing some 1,700 bpd of oil, another is being tested and the third is being drilled.

Petroleos Sudamericanos controls 50% and operates the Palanda and Pindo fields, while Petroriva controls 40% and Fosforeda has 10%. The sharing agreement with Petroproduccion calls for the companies to receive a US$3-4 set fee per produced barrel below a determined production base curve, and to split all production above that base curve on a 50:50 basis.

The company is looking for other opportunities in Ecuador, Martinez-Fresneda said, adding however that several issues have reduced the attractiveness of investing in the country's oil sector. These include legal and security issues, such as the bombing of the Sote oil pipeline last week and the kidnapping of oil workers from a Repsol-YPF field last year.