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Canacol finds light oil at Oso Pardo

North American duo Canacol Energy and ConocoPhillips have struck light oil with their Oso Pardo 1 (Brown Bear) wildcat onshore Colombia.

However, drilling problems meant that the Middle Magdalena Valley well stopped short of exploring its primary deeper shale target.

Canacol Energy chief executive Charle Gamba admitted the failure to reach the shale target was disappointing, he said the light oil find showed the potential of shallower sandstones elsewhere on the 30,000-acre block.

Spud on 10 June, the Oso Pardo 1 probe had aimed to test both shallow conventional Tertiary Lisama sandstone reservoir and deeper naturally fractured shale and carbonate reservoirs within the La Luna and Simiti oil shales.

The probe hit 88 feet of oil play in Lisama and Umir sandstones in three intervals.

Calgary-based junior Canacol Energy holds 100% of the shallow rights at the Santa Isabel contract area, with ConocoPhillips having farmed in to 70% of the deeper rights in February.

The South America-focused explorer said that while drilling the Tertiary section it “encountered technical problems that compromised the integrity of the wellbore” that meant drilling could not proceed to the deeper Cretaceous shales.

It is moving ahead with the well's shallower sections on a 100% cost basis, seeing a final stable rate of around 205 barrels of oil and 107,540 cubic feet of gas per day on production test.

Further production tests are planned, and the Canadian explorer will be the sole owner of any eventual production from the shallower intervals.