Gran Tierra defers Colombian pipeline project

Christopher E. Smith
Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Dec. 17 -- Gran Tierra Energy Inc., Calgary, has deferred a 100-km pipeline project in Colombia connecting Costayaco field to the Orito gathering facilities. Recent pressure-testing of the existing pipeline system and testing of friction reducers injected into the oil stream show the existing pipeline system can move about 15,000 b/d from Costayaco with new pumps.

Gran Tierra will move an additional 10,000 b/d by truck, allowing it to meet estimated second-half 2009 production of 25,000 b/d. The company reduced expected peak plateau production from 35,000 b/d, but extended the peak's duration to 3 years.

Gran Tierra estimates a $140 million savings for 2009 from deferring the pipeline project. The company said a WTI price of $61/bbl was needed to keep pipeline construction economical.

Gran Tierra, which discovered Costayaco field in 2007, holds five exploration licenses and a working interest in two technical evaluation areas in Putumayo basin. It has 100% interest in and is operator of the Chaza block and the field. It plans to spud Costayaco-7 this month, having encountered oil deeper in the primary reservoir zone than had previously been found with Costayaco-6, and drill development wells continuously in 2009.

Production in Costayaco and Juanambu oil fields is suspended while the existing pipeline remains shut-in. Output from other Putumayo assets, the Llanos basin, and the Lower Magdalena basin continues (OGJ Online, Dec. 4, 2008).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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