Ecopetrol (BVC: ECOPETROL, NYSE: EC) has confirmed the presence of heavy crude at its Lorito-1 well in the department of Meta.
The well, located in the municipality of Guamal, is 55% owned by the state-controlled Colombian oil company with the remaining 45% stake held by Talisman Colombia Oil & Gas Ltd, a subsidiary of Spanish giant Repsol.
Lorito-1 sits within the CPO Block-9, which had its first discovery in 2010 and now produces 6,000 barrels of oil per day at the Akacías well, according to Ecopetrol.
As it moves into production — and combined with three recently proven wells that added 2,800 barrels per day — the 2,500-meter-deep well will represent another uptick in oil reserves for a company that averaged 715,000 barrels per day in 2017.
Ecopetrol has greatly expanded its exploration and production investment plan for 2018, expecting to spend up to $4 billion. The company’s production goal this year is between 715,000 to 725,000 barrels per day, the company said in a recent conference call with investors.
“The presence of crude in Lorito-1 confirms the potential of heavy hydrocarbons that exists in this area of the eastern Los Llanos, where we produce around half of the country’s oil, and opens a great opportunity for growth,” said Felipe Bayón, president of Ecopetrol.
The company’s top executive added that “it is satisfying to add another discovery to the ambitious exploration campaign that we are carrying out in Colombian territory to increase the reserves of Ecopetrol and the country.”