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1. PdVSA's Tomoporo oil discovery near Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela could be capable of producing up to 250,000 b/d of oil by 2008. Now, the government oil company is looking for a partner with money to take on he legal maximum 49% interest in the giant discovery.
2. PetroFalcon of California, USA, will invest US $60 million through its Vinncler Gas and Oil subsidiary to produce 30 MMcf/d to 40 MMcf/d of gas and 60,000 b/d of oil by 2006 from its Venezuelan properties. It plans three wells in La Vela field and will reactive three more existing wells that PdVSA had drilled in the 1980s. PetroFalcon is trying to prove its theory that the field can produce 10 MMcf/d of gas and 300 b/d of oil. Las Vela is a 400,000-acre onshore and 160,000-acre offshore block with an estimated 133 Bcf of gas and 21 million bbl of oil.
3. Venezuela has approved a development plan by Repsol YPF for the Barrancas gas block in Barinas. That plan includes a US $250-million investment in the next three years with the first exploratory well set for spudding in October this year and first production scheduled for January 2006.
4. ConocoPhillips, ChevronTexaco and PdVSA have stopped work at the Hamaca heavy oil construction upgrading plant. The group, known as the Petrolera Ameriven consortium, stopped work after a group of 60 former building contractor workers entered the grounds and threatened workers. They claimed the contractor, Alvica, still owed them money for lost wages caused when a national strike made it impossible for them to work. Alvica later fired them.
5. Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela SA has entered into talks with Repsol YPF over development of Tacata field in eastern Venezuela, according to Business News Americas. This is just one of the fields that have focused attention on potential large reserves in northern Monagas state. Two other fields are in the Chaguaramal area of Orocual, according to Johnny Gonzalez, manager of PdVSa northern district in the eastern division. Venezuela is counting on new fields like these to raise production to 5 million b/d in 2008 or 2009. These three new fields could double reserves in the northern district, which currently produces 860,000 b/d of oil and 3 Bcf/d of gas.
6. Occidental Petroleum will invest another US $80 million into seven new wells in Cano Limon field, the second largest producing field complex in Colombia.
7. Petrobank of Canada will conduct a 2-D or 3-D seismic survey over its Orito field in southwestern Colombia before the end of the year. Petrobank is attempting to extend the field to the west, according to Business News Americas.
8. Occidental Petroleum plans a US $60-million campaign over the next three years to develop Eden-Yuturi field in Nueva Loga province east of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador. The company, with Petroecuador as its partner, already has invested $300 million in the field. The field holds an estimated 154 million bbl of oil reserves and currently produces 25,000 b/d.
9. Repsol YPF plans a US $470-million investment program in Ecuador to raise its production to 100,000 b/d of oil within a year. The company can begin producing as much as 75,000 b/d when the OCP pipeline from its field to users west of the Andes is completed in October. Currently, the company produces only 19,000 b/d of its 50,000-b/d allowable capacity. The only limit is capacity in the pipeline.
10. Ecuador will offer concessions in its giant Ishpingo-Tapococha-Tiputini field with 1.2 billion bbl of oil and possibly in the 700-million-bbl Pungarayacu field.
11. BG Group told Bolivian newspaper El Mundo that the company plans to invest US $90 million in its Bolivian operations this year, according to a Business News Americas report. The company has six exploration and production blocks, including the giant Margarita X-1 on the Caipependi block and the giant Itau X-1 on the XX Tarija Oeste block.
12. Petrobras claimed a deepwater discovery with its 1-ESS-123 well offshore Espirito Santo. The well is in some 4,508 ft (1,374 m) of water 35 miles (56 km) off the coast on the BES-100 block. The company hasn't yet completed testing on the well and didn't reveal any potential production figures but the pay zone lies within a 165-ft (50-m) sand at 12,500 ft (3,812 m).
13. Petrobras has opened bidding for companies to furnish the P-54 production platform for giant Roncador field in deep water in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil. The unit actually will be a conversion built on the hull of the Barao de Maua oil tanker. The new production unit would have production capacity of 180,000 b/d. Petrobras will release the work in staged tenders to the service industry.
14. Repsol YPF plans to spend approximately US $9.6 million in exploration funds on Argentina's Bandurria block in Neuquen Province. Wintershall and Pan American Energy are partners. The group will first conduct 3-D seismic studies by 2005 over the 359 sq miles (931 sq km) in the block. If the partners like what they see on seismic, the must drill one well in 2005.