Work on Colombia's Cusiana and Cupiagua oil fields continues
June 12, 1997 Triton Energy reports that work on bringing Colombia's Cusiana and Cupiagua oil fields to the 500,000 bpd target production level is progressing, despite recent delays. Currently, the fields are producing at an average rate of 185,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), the highest average daily rate in any quarterly financial period to date.
Production from the Cusiana and Cupiagua fields should nearly double this summer with the addition at Cusiana's central processing facility of two oil production units capable of handling 160,000 bopd. The start-up and commissioning of the first oil unit will be followed soon thereafter by the start-up and commissioning of the second oil unit. At that time, total production is planned to increase to about 320,000 bopd.
In the Cupiagua Field, two production units are under construction at a new central processing facility. The operator forecasts that after construction has been completed and the facility comes on line in early 1998 the combined production capacity from both fields should be at least 500,000 bopd. Originally, the 500,000 bopd level was scheduled to be reached by year-end 1997.
This delay in Cupiagua construction and drilling operations is largely due to work stoppages, material shortages and public-order issues in the area, which have impeded planned progress. Currently, the operation of two of six Cupiagua drilling rigs temporarily is suspended; it is expected that drilling operations will be resumed shortly. At the Cupiagua central processing facility, construction continues at a reduced pace.
Third gas train approved for Cupiagua
The Cusiana and Cupiagua field partners recently agreed to expand the Cupiagua Field's gas-handling capacity by adding a third gas-handling train. It is intended the additional train will increase total oil production recovered from the Cupiagua Field by about 10 % prior to the field's contract expiration in 2010. Work is expected to begin shortly on the new unit, with completion planned for 1999. The total cost of the unit is estimated to be $ 160 mm and includes gas compressors, flow lines and reinjection wells. Triton's share of the expenditure should be approximately $ 20 mm, the majority of which is expected to be spent in 1998 and early 1999.
"We anticipate that the third gas-handling train will maintain maximum oil production from the field for a longer period than previously expected," said Al Turner, Triton's Senior Vice President, Operations. "Ultimately, we expect this will result in the recovery of additional reserves from the Cupiagua Field."
Pipeline system expansion
Expansion of the Oleoducto Central S.A. (OCENSA) pipeline system in Colombia is nearing completion, with 100 % of the pipeline welded and buried. OCENSA should begin filling the expanded pipeline with oil soon. Additional pump-station capacity is scheduled for completion during the remainder of 1997 and will come on line to accommodate increasing production. The pipeline system transports Cusiana and Cupiagua oil to the Caribbean port of Covenas where it is shipped to markets, primarily on the US Gulf Coast.