Petrolifera to raise Neuquen basin output

Petrolifera Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, hopes to end the year with production in Argentina approaching 21,000 boed, including 18,500 b/d of oil.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 5 -- Petrolifera Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, after a difficult second quarter that saw its Argentina oil production dip below 7,000 b/d several times, hopes to end the year approaching 21,000 boed, including 18,500 b/d of oil.

The company, which has more than $70 million in working capital and no debt, has a 2007 capital budget of $110 million in Argentina.

Petrolifera plans to drill 55 wells in Argentina this year. It hasn't drilled a dry hole since entering the country in late 2005. It also plans to drill in Peru and Colombia in 2008. Connacher Oil & Gas Ltd. owns 26% of Petrolifera.

A fourth rig is to begin drilling for the company in September in the eastern Neuquen basin.

One rig is drilling a Jurassic test on the southern half of the Puesto Morales Block southwest of Puesto Morales Sur field. Another rig is drilling a southerly offset to the company's RNx-1001 Upper Jurassic Sierras Blancas well, which stabilized in June at 690 b/d from just below 1,000 m.

Numerous 160-acre locations have been chosen near 1001 on what appears to be a stratigraphic-structural feature 90 sq km in areal extent, and the rig is earmarked for continuous drilling on Rinconada and the adjoining Vaca Mahuida Block.

Another rig is drilling a well on the central Puesto Morales North culmination just southwest of the original PMN 1002 discovery well. The new drilling is northwest of the 1013 well, which tested 6,000 b/d of light oil and went on production at a tubing-constrained 3,000 b/d.

The 1013 well, the company's best well to date, is being reworked due to water encroachment, although a waterflood is to begin in the field later this year.

Petrolifera is withholding test results from the PMN x-1028 step-out for competitive reasons and will participate in the mid-July Rio Negro Province bidding round.

Most wells in the northern lobe of the 1003 complex are choked back to conserve gas until a 30-km, 10-in. high-pressure gas pipeline from Puesto Morales northwest to Medanito starts up later this year.

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