Firms eye Guatemala oil potential at Atzam, Tortugas fields

Two Australian independents are participating with Latin American Resources Ltd. on oil development blocks in the South Peten basin in central Guatemala.

Recent remapping of the Atzam structure using existing data from three previous operators and incorporating reservoir data acquired since production began in December 2007 indicates the possibility of a structure of comparable size and orientation to Rubelsanto field 17 km east, said Range Resources Ltd., Sydney.

Rubelsanto field is producing more than 1,000 b/d of oil and has recovered more than 30 million bbl from eight wells since discovery in 1976, said Citation Resources Ltd., Perth.

Range Resources in late January 2013 purchased a 19.9% interest in Citation, which holds a farm-in right to acquire a 70% interest in Latin American Resources. Latin American Resources as operator holds an 80-100% interest in Block 1-2005 and Block 6-93, which total 400,000 acres and contain Atzam and Tortugas oil fields. Range Resources also acquired a 10% direct interest in Latin American Resources.

Latin American Resources in late January began flow tests at the Atzam-4 well focusing on the C18-C19 reservoirs, the shallower Upper C18 and Lower C17 reservoirs, and the yet shallower C13-C14 reservoirs. Total depth is 4,050 ft, and the reservoirs being tested lie at 1,748-3,756 ft.

The operator has been swabbing 37° gravity oil from the Upper C18-Lower C-17 reservoirs for the 2 weeks ended Feb. 13 and plans to run an electric submersible pump in 2-3 weeks.

However, Citation said, minimal fluids were recovered from the C19-Lower C18 reservoirs, and excess cementing during drilling was found to have been lost in the Upper C18 sections, blocking permeability. Further remedial work or a sidetrack may be needed, Citation said.

The C13 and C14 reservoirs, which produce in Rubelsanto field, produced encouraging and unexpectedly strong oil shows while drilling Atzam-4 and may be tested in the first quarter of 2013, Citation said. Depending on the results, the follow-up Atzam-5 well could target the C13 and C14 sections. Atzam-5 is the second in a two-well program.

Meanwhile, the Tortugas structure is a suspended oil field. Monsanto Co. drilled 17 wells seeking sulfur on the Tortugas salt dome. Most of the wells had oil shows in multiple zones, and the T9B well experienced an oil blowout at 1,500 ft in 1971 as Guatemala’s first oil discovery, Citation said.

Guatemala’s current oil production averages 14,000 b/d, 90% of which comes from the North and South Peten basins, Citation said.

Latin American Resources’ ultimate interest in the two blocks depends on whether previous operators take up their follow-through rights as wells are drilled.

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