BOGOTA, Colombia, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. ("Ecopetrol" or the "Company") (NYSE: EC; BVC: ECOPETROL; BVL: EC; TSX: ECP) announces that initial drilling and testing on the Akacias-1 exploratory well has confirmed the presence of crude oil.
The Akacias-1 well is located in the municipality of Acacias, Meta province, and is part of the Company's CPO-9 Exploration and Production Contract with the National Hydrocarbons Agency.
Ecopetrol, which has a 55% stake in the block, is the operator. The other 45% belongs to the Canadian company Talisman.
"This new hydrocarbons discovery in the Eastern Llanos substantiates the important potential of this region, which produces 40% of the country's oil, joining other recent discoveries by Ecopetrol and other companies and encompassed in our heavy crude strategy, which, in turn, helps us meet our goals of increasing reserves and continuously boosting our production by more than 12% a year until we reach one million barrels equivalent by 2015," said Ecopetrol's president, Javier Gutierrez Pemberthy.
Drilling of the Akacias-1 well, which began on August 31, 2010, reached a depth of 11,780 feet, or 3.5 kilometers. The hydrocarbon accumulation was proven in the T2 formation, at a net perforation interval of 352 feet.
The well was characterized by its technical complexity with drilling along a highly deviated directional path, with a horizontal displacement of 6,100 feet. This means that horizontal perforation techniques were used, allowing the well in the subsoil to be slanted more than 1.8 kilometers until reaching the target in the T2, K1 and K2 formations.
The results of initial production tests, made available just recently, show crude oil production of 9.3 degrees API, with average flow of 1,280 barrels per day supported by an artificial lift system and water cut of some 9.1%.
Akacias-1 is the sixth finding with Ecopetrol participation since the beginning of the year and the third in the Eastern Llanos region. Previously, the company proved the presence of hydrocarbons in four Colombian wells: Río Zulia West-3, in partnership with Tepic; Quifa-6, in partnership with Pacific Rubiales; Oripaya-1, 100% Ecopetrol; and Mago-1, in partnership with Shell; and one in Brazil: Itauna-1 in partnership with Anadarko.
Ecopetrol and Talisman, partners in the CPO-9 block, are working together on other exploration and production projects in Colombia and Peru, including the acquisition of BP's affiliate in Colombia announced in August of this year and pending approval by the appropriate authorities.
Ecopetrol is the largest company in Colombia and a vertically integrated oil company, among the 40 largest oil companies in the world and four largest in Latin America. In addition to Colombia, where it generates over 60% of the country's production, it maintains exploration and production operations in Brazil, Peru and the United States (Gulf of Mexico). Ecopetrol owns the largest refinery in Colombia, the majority of the network of oil pipelines and multi-use pipelines and is increasing significantly its participation in biofuels.
This release contains forward-looking statements related to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of Ecopetrol. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of management concerning the future of the company and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend on changes in market conditions, regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Colombian economy and the industry, among other factors, therefore, they are subject to change without prior notice.
SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.