With oil production of 61,352 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the first quarter of 2018, Frontera Energy Corporation saw a drop from the 66,035 barrels per day it produced in the first quarter of 2017, the Canadian oil and gas company reported last week.
This figure, however, is slightly up, by about 3%, compared to its depressed output of 59,131 barrels per day in the final quarter of 2017.
Higher oil prices also didn’t help lead to better financial results. Frontera, formerly known as Pacific Rubiales before a rebrand in recent years, realized just $249.5 million USD in sales and a net loss of $3.1 million USD in the first quarter.
These figures are down from the $316.6 million USD and $8.5 million USD net gain in the first quarter of 2017. It is also well below the $335.3 million USD in sales that the Toronto-based company made during the fourth quarter of 2017, when Frontera had a net loss of $32.5 million USD.
The uptick in oil production this quarter compared to the final quarter of 2017 was driven by an uptick in its output in Peru. Oil production in Colombia actually decreased from 56,593 in to 52,195 over the same time frame.
The drop is even more prominent — by nearly 10,000 barrels per day — compared to the 62,180 barrels per day average Frontera reported in Colombia in the first quarter of 2017.
In a statement, the company noted that the declines in Colombia were “a result of social unrest at the Cubiro block that has now been resolved” in addition to “increased volumes of 1,257 boe/d paid-in kind to Ecopetrol S.A. from production at the Quifa block pursuant to the high price participation clause in the governing exploration and exploitation contract.”
The firm’s natural gas output also has continued to fall over the past year. Frontera produced just 4,875 boe/d in Colombia in the first quarter of this year, down significantly from 5,314 boe/d in the fourth quarter last year and the 6,489 it managed in the first quarter of 2017.
Frontera attributed this to “natural production declines on the company’s natural gas assets at La Creciente.”
The growth news comes from Peru, where Frontera Energy brought its oil production from just 2,538 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 9,157 barrels per day this quarter.
Still, with the output drops in Colombia across the board, the company’s 66,227 boe/d in total oil and gas production was down from its 72,524 figure reported in the first quarter of 2017.
Frontera Energy is drilling, however, as it continues on a strategy it has coined “positioning for growth” in 2018.
“In April, we started drilling at our Acorazado-1 location in the Llanos foothills of Colombia, targeting a large structure on trend with the giant Cusiana and Cupiagua fields,” stated the company.
It also reported that two oil exploration wells in the Guatiquia block — Coralillo-1 and Alligator-2 — are completed and have been tested at an average of 1,000 barrels per day. Another well, the Jaspe-6D exploration well in the Quifa area, has is testing at an average rate of 187 barrels per day and the company has set the third quarter of this year to drill its offshore Delfin Sur-1 exploration well in Peru.