1. Colombiana de Petroleo, Colombia's state oil regulator, signed a contract giving ExxonMobil and Petrobras exploration and production rights on the10.7-million-acre Tayrona parcel offshore in the Caribbean Sea from Cartagena northeast along the La Guajira peninsula. Under the agreement, Petrobras will take on the exploration duties and ExxonMobil will take over when and if there is a development phase. The partners expect to use ExxonMobil's remote reservoir resistivity mapping technology during exploration. The tract contains an estimated 120 million boe of hydrocarbons, mostly gas.

2. Harvest Oil Co. has completed technical evaluation and field development plans for its Temblador and El Salto fields north of the Venezuela's Orinoco Belt heavy oil fields and has submitted a development plan for the South Monagas properties to Petroleos de Venezuela.

3. The Petrozuata synthetic heavy oil project on Venezuela's Orinoco heavy oil belt has upgraded operations and increased production, said a Reuters report. ConocoPhillips and Petroleos de Venezuela SA designed the operation to produce some 120,000 b/d of the heavy crude into 102,000 b/d of synthetic oil. In July, it processed nearly 150,000 b/d of heavy oil into 140,000 b/d of synthetic oil. The three heavy crude projects, including Sincor and Cerro Negro, produce a total of more than 400,000 b/d of synthetic crude.

4. BHP Billiton plans to produce first oil from its Greater Angostura field off the northeastern tip of Trinidad early next year, according to Talisman Energy, a partner. Total is the other partner. Initial production should come in at 75% to 80% of the field's 100,000-b/d capacity. Initial production will be oil, but the companies will shift to gas production in 10 to 15 years. The project, on Block 2(c) could also assimilate production from discoveries on Block 3(a), immediately to the east.

5. Occidental Petroleum plans to invest US $40 million developing Block 103 in northern Peru and another $40 million in work on Block 64, said Business News Americas. The Block 103 project, between the Altos Amazona and Loreto provinces in the Maranon Basin, includes 2-D seismic and at least two exploratory wells.

6. Pluspetrol Peru Corp., with partners Hunt Oil Co., SK Corp. of South Korea, Techint Argentina, Algeria's Sonatrach and Hidrocarburos Andinos, has started production from the San Martin four-wellhead cluster in the giant, US $1.6 billion Camisea field in west-central Peru. Camisea is on Block 88, but the partners also expect to start production from Pagoreni on neighboring Block 56 in 2007.

7. Drilling is underway on Chaco's DRD X-1004 well in the El Dorado gas and condensate field near Santa Cruz, Bolivia, according to partner Pan Andean Resources. Chaco, formerly part of the Bolivian state oil company YPFB, now is part of the BP Group. The well will target potential pay in the Petaca sand at about 5,250 ft (1,600 m), the Ichoa formation at 7,218 ft (2,200 m) and the Iquiri and Los Monos formations from 13,124 ft to 14,764 ft (4,000 m to 4,500 m).

8. BP plans to drill two new wells off the north coast of Brazil in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. According to Business News Americas, the wells will be drilled in BM-FZA-1 and BM-FZA-2 blocks approximately 186 miles (300 km) north of the Amapa coast. The project will cost an estimated US $60 million.

9. Petrobras revealed a new offshore discovery with light oil called the Paranema oil and gas field on the SEAL-100 block in the Seregipe-Alagoas Basin. The block is in water 3,937 ft to 5,250 ft (1,200 m to 1,600 m) deep. According to Petrobras, the field contains some 76 million bbl of oil reserves.

10. Brazil still isn't getting a lot of bidders in its annual licensing rounds, but at least the dollar figures are getting better. It looked like a good auction on the first day when bidding for nearly 100 blocks hit US $195 million, breaking the 2002 record set at the second auction. Brazil's ANP anticipated $217 million in high bids for the 2-day auction, the highest yet recorded. Devon Energy and partners were among the more active bidders, but Petrobras remained the biggest bidder, taking two-thirds of the blocks offered. Still, only 154 of the 913 blocks offered received bids.

11. Apco Argentina and partners in the Acambuco oil and gas concession in the Salta province of Argentina will invest US $70 million in their Macueta field in a step to get production online as early as 2006, said Business News Americas. Pan America Energy is the operator with 52%. Shell and Repsol YPF each has 22.5% and a Williams Co. subsidiary matches Apco's stake at 1.5%. The development includes more wells, a gas pipeline and a gas treatment plant with construction scheduled to start next year.

12. Petrobras Energia, the Argentine subsidiary of Brazil's Petrobras, drilled its Puesto Olivero x-1001 wildcat some 112 miles (180 km) northwest of the city of Rio Gallegos in a Santa Cruz province to find 2.1 MMcf/d (60 Mcm/d) of gas and 188 b/d of oil from perforations between 9,741 ft and 9,761 ft (2,971 m and 2,977 m), said EFE. The discovery is in the El Martillo-El Campamento block, where Petrobras Energia plans two more wells this year and another two in 2005.