Roundup: Emerald shutdown, Popayán pipeline, Gas De Occidente credit

Friday, November 18, 2011

London-listed Emerald Energy (AIM: EEN) has temporarily suspended operations at its Capella field on the Ombu block in Colombia's southern Caquetá department, according to local press reports.

Local radio in Bogotá said that recent security concerns have prompted the temporary shutdown, though the company hopes to resume production at the 600b/d field next week.

Emerald employees have been involved in two separate security incidents over the last six months.

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In June, four of its oil workers were kidnapped in Caquetá in an attack blamed on the Farc rebel group. Five oil trucks owned by the firm were meanwhile attacked and set alight in the same region in August.

A spokesman for Emerald Energy declined to comment on the story when contacted by BNamericas.


Elsewhere in Colombia, the country's mines and energy ministry (Minminas) announced that operations at the Yumbo-Popayán gas pipeline are expected to begin before the end of the year.

Construction on the final phase of the project is expected to end this week, with a further two weeks of testing anticipated before the start of operations.

The 117km pipeline connects the Pradera-Jamundí gas transport system in the Cauca Valley with the city of Popayán. Work on the project began in July 2009.

It had originally been expected online last December.

Colombia's government financed around 33% of the total 33.5bn-peso (US$16.3mn) investment.


And the board of Colombian gas distributor Gases de Occidente has authorized the company to take out a credit line for up to 70bn pesos.

The company aims to secure a seven-year payback term for the line, the distributor said in a filing to securities regulator Superfinanciera.

The credit facility will cover project financing and the fulfillment of the company's normal operations.

The firm, which is 70% owned by distributor Promigas, has already taken out two credit lines worth a combined US$28mn this year.