A Crude Climber In Colombia

Sept 30--With a new pipeline reducing transport costs, Pacific Rubiales Energy could prosper on remote plays.

hanks in part to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Pacific Rubiales Energy has become the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company in neighboring Colombia.

Run by Venezuelans who left the country after mass firings at the state oil company in 2002, Pacific Rubiales is ramping up production in remote parts of Colombia, exploiting geologies similar to Venezuela's.
The mid-cap company recently opened the taps on a new pipeline that should help it bring more crude to market.

Formed in a 2008 merger, Canada-based Pacific Rubiales produces the equivalent of 37,000 barrels of oil per day, focusing efforts in the isolated Rubiales and Piriri fields in Colombia's Llanos Basin. As of June 30, the fields had 355 million barrels of proven reserves, up from 270 million in December 2008.

Exxon abandoned the Rubiales field in the 1980s. Until recently, production there was constrained by how much could be trucked out--an armada of 1,500 tanker trucks hauled about 60,000 barrels of crude per day to civilization, much of it along dirt roads. Pacific Rubiales and analysts say that the region, once flush with rebels, is secure, and none of the trucks have been attacked.
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