TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX: PRE;
BVC: PREC; BOVESPA: PREB) today provided an update on its 2012
operations and exploration activities.
In summary, production is up sharply in the current quarter to date, the
Company expects to meet its year-end exit production targets and has
grown its production in 2012 despite the unexpected permit delays
affecting all oil and gas producers in Colombia. Exploration activity
continues with nine wells planned to be drilled or spud in the fourth
quarter. 2012 represents an important transformational year for the
Company, accomplished through a number of strategic acquisitions
designed to position the portfolio for long-term growth and add value
to the existing business.
The Company expects to release its 2013 Outlook and Guidance forecast
during the second week in January 2013; 2012 year-end reserves and
resource reports in late February; and 2012 year-end financial results
after market close on March 13, 2013.
Ronald Pantin, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Rubiales, commented:
"I am thrilled by this year's progress, in all aspects of the Company.
Despite a challenging first eight months of the year during which our
production growth was constrained by environmental and development
permit delays outside of our control, I am very pleased by our
subsequent strong production growth.
"The Company's production in the fourth quarter to date has averaged 269
Mboe/d total gross field or 107 Mboe/d net after royalty, and
production has risen in all of the Company's major oil producing
fields. This past week we achieved a new production record milestone
of 282 Mboe/d total gross field (approximately 111 Mboe/d net after
royalty). Much of this production growth has been driven by the
Rubiales field which is currently producing in excess of 200 Mbbl/d
total gross field (approximately 68 Mbbl/d net after royalty). At
Quifa SW, production is just under 50 Mbbl/d total gross field
(approximately 23 Mbbl/d net after royalty). Production is currently 3
Mbbl/d (approximately 1.7 Mbbl/d net after royalty) at the Cajua field,
the new commercial field in the Quifa North area, and is expected to
reach a range of 4 to 5 Mbbl/d total gross field production by
"With this production performance in place we feel very comfortable in
achieving a year-end exit production of between 280 to 285 Mboe/d total
gross field or approximately 112 to 114 Mboe/d net after royalty
(excluding any volumes from the C&C Energia Ltd. acquisition).
"During 2012 we have transitioned the Company's portfolio through
strategic acquisitions, to secure and setup long-term growth and add
value to the existing business. This activity has been aimed at
acquiring low cost reserves that provide immediate value and cash-flow
accretive production in the near-term, as well as expanding our
exploration resources to drive growth looking out beyond three to five
"As an example, the Block Z-1 acquisition in the shallow water offshore
Peru brings low cost oil reserve additions, immediate production
volumes that we can grow over the next two years through low-risk
development, and complements our extensive onshore exploration
portfolio in the country. With the recent delivery and placement of
the new 24 drill slot CX-15 production platform on the block's Corvina
oil field, development drilling is expected to commence during the next
few weeks, progress through next year and contribute significant
production growth in 2013. A newly completed comprehensive 3D seismic
program on the block delineates multiple prospects and large
exploration resources in a proven oil prone hydrocarbon basin, which
will be tested by exploration drilling over the next several years. At
the current time, Pacific Rubiales expects the Block Z-1 acquisition to
close by year-end 2012. The acquisition is effective from the beginning
of the current year (January 1, 2012).
"The Company's acquisition of PetroMagdalena Energy Corp. and the
pending acquisition of C&C Energia adds medium to light oil production
and reserves which will be used as a source of diluent for our growing
heavy oil production in the Llanos basin. The Company's integrated
light oil diluent / heavy oil production, along with its growing
ownership in pipelines and transportation infrastructure, captures a
significant incremental value margin on the direct ownership of the
light oil, versus the cost of purchasing diluent volumes.
Current production from the PetroMagdalenga assets is approximately 4.5
Mboe/d net after royalty, which has approximately doubled since the
acquisition closed on July 27, 2012. Production from the C&C Energia
assets is currently approximately 10 Mbbl/d net after royalty oil, and
is expected to grow from a more aggressive development of existing
prospects in 2013. The Company is targeting a year-end 2012 closing of
the C&C Energia transaction.
"Four additional exploration acreage acquisitions were made during 2012:
1) the increased equity investment in CGX Energy Inc., which holds an
interest in deep water properties in offshore Guyana, 2) the
Triceratops and PPL-237 onshore Papua New Guinea foothills play, 3) the
Portofino heavy oil exploration block in the Caguan-Putumayo basin
onshore Colombia, and 4) the Karoon blocks in the medium depth offshore
Brazil Santos basin; should all be viewed in the context of early stage
large resource capture for the future, in basins and jurisdictions
which offer a balance of above- and below-ground risk.
"We view all of the exploration acquisitions as providing opportunities
in world class hydrocarbon basins with the potential for hosting very
large resources. In the case of offshore Guyana, a basin with analogous
geology to west Africa and Brazil that have produced giant oil
discoveries; in the case of Papua New Guinea, large natural gas and
condensate resources sitting on the doorstep of the world's fastest
growing primary energy markets; in the case of the Portofino block,
complementary acreage along the strategic Colombia heavy oil belt and
adjacent to the developing Capella oil field; and in the case of the
offshore Karoon blocks, the Company's first activity in Brazil and a
strategic entry into the country's prolific Santos basin. This is a
similar strategy that led to the Company's successful "first-mover",
large resource capture and rapidly rising production along the heavy
oil resource belt in Colombia.
"Each of our 2012 acquisitions completed thus far have been funded by
cash on-hand, associated exploration and development capital is
expected to be funded by internally generated cash flow, and leverages
the "built-in" onshore/offshore and frontier basin expertise and
capacity acquired by the Company from its technical and managerial
origins. They illustrate the Company's capacity and vision to look out
beyond the short and medium term, layering in opportunities to support,
enhance and develop new growth prospects into the future.
"Also, this has been a year where the lessons learnt in 2011 about
relations with community, our workers, and our other stakeholders, bore
fruit. We are now widely recognized as a preferred partner and as a
leader in fostering sustainable relations within the social and
economic realm in which we operate.
"Closing out 2012, I want to take the time to express my special thanks
to each of the Company's employees and in-house contractors for their
hard work during the year. The Company's Balance Sheet remains strong,
and our growth targets in the medium term remain intact underpinned by
our extensive low cost heavy oil exploration and development assets in
Colombia. We will continue our strategy of repeatable, profitable
growth by building for the long-term future, the leading E&P Company
focused in Latin America."
The Company expects to drill approximately 58 exploration wells
(including stratigraphic and appraisal wells) during the current year
2012. This includes nine wells during the fourth quarter, with
approximately four of these (wells on the Colombian CPO-1, SSJN-9 and
Guama blocks, and the Brazil Karoon blocks) are expected to drill over
year-end and complete their drilling operations in early 2013.
One well on the Cubiro block in Colombia has been completed as a
successful oil well discovery, four wells are being drilled currently,
with another four expected to be spud prior to year-end. Exploration
drilling success as a result of the 49 wells drilled during the first
nine months of the year averaged 84%. A complete schedule of the 2012
exploration well program is provided below:
2012 Exploration Well Schedule
(1) The Company holds a 49.999% participation in Maurel et Prom Colombia BV
which holds 100% of the Sabanero block, and 50% of the SSJN‐9 block.
(2) The Company has a 35% net working interest in the Karoon blocks.
(3) The Company holds a 40% participating interest in the Portofino block
owned by Canacol Energy Ltd.
Seven exploration wells originally planned for drilling in the fourth
quarter 2012 have been postponed into 2013, including one well on the
Arrendajo block, three wells on the CPE-6 block, two wells on the
Portofino block and the block 138 exploration well in Peru.
During the fourth quarter, the Petirrojo Sur-1 exploration well was
drilled in the central Llanos Cubiro block, encountering 15 feet of net
pay in the Tertiary aged Carbonera C7A and C7B reservoirs and completed
as a flowing oil well. Production has stabilized at approximately 185
bbl/d light oil (40 API degree) with a 50% water cut. The relatively
high water cut is thought to be due to casing cement integrity issues
and will be subject to a remedial workover in early 2013. The Company
has various working interests (averaging 61%) in the Cubiro block,
added through the PetroMagdalena acquisition. Although a relatively
small discovery, it illustrates the value the Company is extracting
from these assets through accelerated drilling.
The Kangaroo-1 exploration well, the first of two commitment wells and
one option well resulting from a 35% farm-in on the Karoon blocks
offshore Santos basin Brazil, is expected to be spud during the last
week of December. The well is located within the S-M-1101 and S-M-1165
blocks, about 280 kilometers off the coast of the State of São Paulo,
in water depths of approximately 400 meters, and has multiple targets
in the Eocene, Miocene and late Cretaceous aged sections. The well
will be drilled using the Blackford Dolphin semi-submersible drill rig,
which was mobilized to the drill site this week, and is expected to
take about 40 to 60 days to drill.
The Santos basin has recently yielded multiple oil discoveries and is
becoming an exciting area for exploration. The Kangaroo-1 well has a
gross mean prospective resource of 272 MMbbl oil certified by DeGolyer
MacNaughton. As announced this week by the operator, Karoon Gas
Australia Ltd, the expiry date on the farm-in blocks has been extended
180 days to November 2013, allowing for completion of the planned
The Company is actively engaged in a number of significant production,
experimental pilot, midstream and facility infrastructure projects
aimed at improving efficiency, achieving cost reductions and increasing
production and recoveries from its major producing oil fields in
Colombia. These projects are critical to its ongoing business
development and value creation for shareholders. Major projects of
Small Scale LNG Project: The Company has initiated a small scale liquefied natural gas ("LNG")
project that will be developed jointly with Exmar NV ("Exmar"), an
experienced LNG transportation and regasification company based in
Belgium. The project is aimed at supplying LNG for power generation in
Central America and the Caribbean, currently supplied by diesel. The
project comprises a planned 88 km, 18 inch gas pipeline to be built
from the Company's La Creciente gas field to Tolú (Colombian Atlantic
Coast, 15 km north east from Coveñas), and a Floating, Liquefying,
Regasification and Storage Unit ("FLRSU") connected to a Floating
Storage Unit ("FSU") allowing FOB exports to standard carriers (145,000
The Company will supply approximately 70 MMcf/d gas to the FLRSU under a
15 year tolling agreement with Exmar, starting in late 2014.
Construction of the barge mounted FLRSU facility is underway in
mainland China, environmental permitting for the onshore portion of the
gas pipeline has been granted while environmental licenses for the 3.5
km offshore pipeline and port concessions are in progress. The LNG
project will lead to a doubling of the Company's natural gas production
on start-up in late 2014, accelerating existing reserves production and
encouraging exploration resource drilling. Wellhead netbacks are
expected to be higher than the current $6 - $7 per Mcf received in the
domestic sales market.
STAR (Synchronized Thermal Additional Recovery) Pilot Project: The STAR pilot project is aimed at increasing the recovery in the
Company's heavy oil fields in Colombia in the future. The technology
was initially tested and designed under laboratory conditions during
2009 and 2010. The pilot project facilities were constructed at Quifa
SW in 2011 with start-up under primary cold flow conditions initiated
in early 2012.
Two key tests were conducted during 2012. A steam test was performed to
determine the response of the reservoir to thermal process and a
nitrogen test was conducted to create a minimum gas saturation in the
wellbore in order to facilitate the upcoming air injection. Both tests
indicated positive response from the reservoir. Equipment and injector
wellbore failure caused by an unexpected backflow along with the
subsequent requirement to construct additional production, safety and
auxiliary systems, have resulted in delays in the pilot project. A
second steam injection phase for cleanup and pre-heating has been
initiated and start-up of the air injection thermal phase is now
expected late this month or early 2013.
Petroeléctrica de los Llanos ("PEL") - Power Transmission Line Project: PEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, responsible for
constructing and operating a new 260 km, 230 kilovolt power
transmission line connecting the Rubiales and Quifa fields with
Colombia's electrical grid. The line includes two substations to supply
power to the booster stations of the ODL pipeline, as well as
substations in the Rubiales and Quifa fields.
Construction on the power line started in May 2012 and is expected to be
completed by the third quarter of 2013. The new power line will supply
less expensive hydroelectrical power used in the operation of the
Rubiales and Quifa fields, replacing volumes of more expensive fuel oil
and diesel, leading to a reduction in unit operating costs.
Puerto Bahia Oil Export Terminal and Port Facility: This project consists of a new oil export terminal and port facility
which are being constructed near Cartagena on the Colombia Caribbean
coast. Phase one of the project consists of a 130 km, 30 inch oil
pipeline with a capacity of 300,000 bbl/d running from Coveñas to
Cartagena, three one-million barrel oil storage tanks, and a deep water
berth with loading space for two tankers.
The Company has taken a 49% interest in Pacific Infrastructure Inc., a
private company financing, designing, constructing and operating the
facility estimated to cost between $700 - $900 million, and be in
operation by late 2014. The new export terminal is crucial to the
Company's plans to increase its Colombia heavy oil production and
exports during the next four years by addressing the current
infrastructure constaints at the existing Coveñas export terminal,
which leads to frequent inventory overhangs.
Rubiales - Quifa Water Irrigation Project: This project is aimed at expanding and increasing the water disposal
capacity at the Rubiales and Quifa fields using reverse osmosis
technology to purify produced field water and then directing the
resulting water output to water irrigation rather than disposing by
reinjection. The first of two, 500 Mbbl/d capacity reverse osmosis
plants will be delivered to the field in mid-2013, with a second
expected to be operational at the end of the year. Additional plants
will be installed post-2013 to handle increasing water production
expected from both fields.
Approximately 50 thousand hectares of African palm and eucalyptus trees
will be planted as part of the irrigation project, creating a new
sustainable "green project" and is expected to result in a reduction in
incremental unit costs associated with water disposal produced from the
Bicentenario Pipeline Project: The Company has a 32.88% equity interest in "Bicentenario", a special
purpose vehicle responsible for the financing, design, construction and
operation of Colombia's newest oil pipeline transportation system,
which will run from Araguaney, in the west central Llanos basin to the
Coveñas export terminal on the Colombia Caribbean coast.
In four phases, the Bicentenario pipeline will add 450,000 bbl/d of
additional capacity to the existing pipeline systems, connecting the
south Llanos Basin to export markets. Phase one with 120,000 bbl/d
capacity currently under construction, consists of a 230 km, 42 inch
pipeline from Araguaney to Banadía connecting with the existing Caño
Limon oil pipeline, two 600,000 bbl capacity storage tanks at Coveñas
and is expected to start pumping operations during the second quarter
of 2013. When operational in 2013 the Bicentenario pipeline is expected
to ship approximately 30% of the Company's heavy oil production
currently transported by truck at a significant savings from current
Carmentea - Araguaney Pipeline and Diluent Mixing Station Project: This new project involves an extension of the existing pipeline and
construction of a new 85 km, 36 inch diameter pipeline with the
capacity to eventually transport up to 460,000 bbl/d between Cusiana
(connecting with the Company's ODL pipeline and the OCENSA pipeline)
and the Bicentenario pipeline at Araguaney. The basic engineering for
the pipeline is completed, detailed engineering started and the
purchase of pipe is expected to be initiated by year-end 2012.
Environmental permits are pending.
A new diluent mixing facility is currently being constructed at the
Cusiana station junction with the ODL and OCENSA pipelines, with
startup expected in early 2013. The facilities will allow greater
efficiencies in custom diluent mixing required for oil volumes shipped
on the OCENSA (Castilla blend) and Bicentenario (Vasconia blend)
pipelines, as well as elimination of the costs associated with trucking
diluent an additional 250 km to the existing Rubiales field mixing
facility. On the start-up of the new Cusiana diluent facility, the ODL
pipeline will start shipping heated undiluted heavy oil from
Rubiales/Quifa to the new mixing facilities.
Environmental Permits Update
During 2012, Pacific Rubiales experienced delays related to the
regulatory permitting process affecting its Colombia operations
(principally the Rubiales field), but the Company is actively working
in cooperation with Industry partners engaged with government agencies
to expedite the process and has seen improvements, which are
encouraging. In the case of Pacific Rubiales, it is important to
recognize that this year's delay in the licensing only represents a
delay in development, rather than a loss of production.
In mid-August, we received the environmental license to inject an
incremental 400 thousand barrels per day of produced water at the
Rubiales field. We have environmental permits pending for an
additional one million barrels per day water injection at the
Rubiales/Quifa fields expected in early 2013.
In early November, the Company received the environmental permit
allowing the start of exploration drilling on the CPO-12 block to the
north and contiguous to the CPE-6 Hamaca prospect, and the CPO-1 block
in the central Llanos basin. The drilling of four planned exploration
wells has commenced on the CPO-12 block, and an exploration well is
planned to spud on block CPO-1 prior to year-end.
On the other hand, we are still waiting on the blanket environmental
license for the CPE-6 E&P block which we require in order to advance
exploration drilling, extended well testing and field development of
the oil discoveries and prospects we have identified on this strategic
block, situated approximately 70 km southwest of the Rubiales/Quifa
Other significant environmental permits pending include an amendment
submitted in June 2012 which will allow exploration to commence in the
prospective northeastern portion of the Quifa North exploration block.
Despite pipeline transportation disruptions affecting the O&G Industry
in Colombia during 2012, resulting in a drop in the country's total oil
production, Pacific Rubiales was able to both grow and deliver all of
its oil production without any disruptions. This illustrates the
strategic importance and value of the proactive investments the Company
has made in midstream infrastructure.
Pacific Rubiales, a Canadian-based company and producer of natural gas
and heavy crude oil, owns 100 percent of Meta Petroleum Corp., a
Colombian oil operator which operates the Rubiales, Piriri and Quifa
oil fields in the Llanos Basin in association with Ecopetrol, S.A., the
Colombian national oil company, and 100 percent of Pacific Stratus
Energy Corp. which operates the La Creciente natural gas field, and
light oil assets from the recent acquisition of PetroMagdalena Energy
The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and La
Bolsa de Valores de Colombia and as Brazilian Depositary Receipts on
Brazil's Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros under the ticker symbols PRE, PREC, and PREB, respectively.
Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements,
other than statements of historical fact, that address activities,
events or developments that the Company believes, expects or
anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without
limitation, statements regarding estimates and/or assumptions in
respect of production, revenue, cash flow and costs, reserve and
resource estimates, potential resources and reserves and the Company's
exploration and development plans and objectives) are forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current
expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently
available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a
number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of
the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the
forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are
realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they
will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, the Company.
Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially
from current expectations include, among other things: uncertainty of
estimates of capital and operating costs, production estimates and
estimated economic return; the possibility that actual circumstances
will differ from the estimates and assumptions; failure to establish
estimated resources or reserves; fluctuations in petroleum prices and
currency exchange rates; inflation; changes in equity markets;
political developments in Colombia, Guatemala or Peru; changes to
regulations affecting the Company's activities; uncertainties relating
to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; the
uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other
geological data; and the other risks disclosed under the heading "Risk
Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's annual information form dated
March 14, 2012 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it
is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws,
the company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information,
future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes
that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are
reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future
performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such
statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
In addition, reported production levels may not be reflective of
sustainable production rates and future production rates may differ
materially from the production rates reflected in this press release
due to, among other factors, difficulties or interruptions encountered
during the production of hydrocarbons.
Average Daily Oil Production - Block Z-1 Peru
Peru production referenced in the news release corresponds to the 49%
deemed participating share of production attributable to the Company
from Block Z-1 for the period January 1 through to the present,
pursuant to a Stock Purchase Agreement ("SPA") signed on April 27, 2012
between the Company and BPZ Resources, Inc. ("BPZ"). Under the SPA (i)
at closing operating revenues and expenses will then be allocated to
each partner's respective participating interest and (ii) once
approvals by the relevant Peruvian authorities are granted, the Company
shall receive a 49% interest in the production of hydrocarbons from the
Z-1 Block. No revenue and costs have been recognized yet in the
Company´s results with respect to the production from Block Z-1 as its
full entitlement is subject to approval of the applicable Peruvian
Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe
conversion ratio of 5.7 Mcf: 1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency
conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not
represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The estimated values
disclosed in this news release do not represent fair market value. The
estimates of reserves and future net revenue for individual properties
may not reflect the same confidence level as estimates of reserves and
future net revenue for all properties, due to the effects of
This news release was prepared in the English language and susequently
translated into Spanish and Portuguese. In the case of any differences
between the English version and its translated counterparts, the
English document should be treated as the governing version.
Billion cubic feet.
Billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
Barrel of oil.
Barrel of oil per day.
Barrel of oil equivalent. Boe's may be misleading, particularly if used
The Colombian standard is a boe conversion ratio of 5.7 Mcf:1 bbl and is
on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the
tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.
Barrel of oil equivalent per day.
Thousand barrels of oil equivalent.
Million barrels of oil equivalent.
Thousand cubic feet.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil.
SOURCE: Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp.
For further information:
Christopher (Chris) LeGallais
Sr. Vice President, Investor Relations
+1 (647) 295-3700
Sr. Manager, Investor Relations
+57 (1) 511-2298
Manager, Investor Relations
+57 (1) 511-2319