Neuquen basin oil discoveries due pipeline

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 2 -- Petrolifera Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, plans to lay a 25-km, 6-in., 13,500 b/d pipeline to connect oil discoveries on its Puesto Morales block in the eastern Neuquen basin of northern Argentina.

Oil will be trucked from the wells until the pipeline is ready early in the fourth quarter of 2006, the company said.

Five discovery wells on the northern part of the block tested a combined 15,000 b/d of 35° gravity oil from the Upper Jurassic Sierras Blancas and Lower Jurassic Punta Rosada formations. The company was moving a service rig in late February to test another well that is an indicated oil discovery in the Quintuco formation (OGJ Online, Dec. 6, 2005).

Another well flowed 600 Mcfd of gas without stimulation from zone nine in Quintuco, indicating an accumulation of considerable areal extent, the company said. Reserves are still to be calculated for all formations.

Until a new treatment facility can be built to desalt crude, a third party is to handle salt removal for a fee. This was to enable Petrolifera to boost output to 3,200-3,500 b/d in early March 2006. Petrolifera is pursuing other temporary treatment alternatives.

Petrolifera's production was 2,000-2,200 b/d in mid-February and were as high as 2,900 b/d during testing of two of the discovery wells.

Production and flowing pressures at the main producing well, 1003, stabilized at favorable levels, and water cut is steady at 1%.

Petrolifera was negotiating for 1-2 rigs and a service rig to advance the company's planned program of 11 Sierras Blancas/Punta Rosada exploratory and development tests and 13 Quintuco tests.

Petrolifera plans to drill one or more wells on the adjacent Rinconada Block to evaluate a shallow Sierras Blancas stratigraphic pinchout play, offsetting a well abandoned several years ago while still producing at what today would be commercial rates.

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