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Rubiales field pilot fireflood could start in June

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Production Editor

HOUSTON, Apr. 9 -- Colombia's Ecopetrol SA and Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. expect to commence the implementation of a pilot fireflood at Rubiales field in June.

Rubiales field is in the Llanos basin, 465 km from Bogota. The sands in Rubiales produce heavy 12.5° gravity oil.

Current production from the field, discovered in 1982, is about 116,000 bo/d.

The pilot will use a synchronized thermal additional recovery (STAR) process.

The companies said that the process has been successfully tested at the University of Calgary's research laboratories. Tests included three combustion tube tests, two ramped temperature oxidation tests, and numerical simulations.

These tests determined that the Rubiales crude has a stable and controllable ignition point at reservoir conditions, that the fire front thereby generated is stable, and that there is evidence of significant additional recovery potential by using the STAR process, the companies said.

Prior to implementing the pilot the companies said they would:

• Design the duration and scope of the pilot and onsite testing.

• Determine the technical and economic conditions under which the pilot project will be considered successful.

• Execute a definitive agreement between the parties.

• Determine the basic terms and conditions, both volumetric and economic, that will frame the definitive agreement for implementing a commercial fireflood at Rubiales.

Ecopetrol holds a 60% interest in the field with the remaining interest held by Pacific Rubiales Energy.

Meta Petroleum Corp., a 100% owned unit of Pacific Rubiales Energy, operates the field.

Contact Guntis Moritis at guntism@ogjonline.com.


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