Energía

Gran Tierra nearing first Ecuador spud

12/08/2019 BNAmericas

The Calgary-based firm was awarded three blocks covering around 140,000 acres in Ecuador's Oriente basin at a licensing round in March. 

Photo: BNAmericas

Photo: BNAmericas

Canadian oil and gas company Gran Tierra could begin exploration drilling in Ecuador this year as it seeks to convert new acreage into reserves, executives said on Thursday. 

The Calgary-based firm was awarded three blocks covering around 140,000 acres in Ecuador's Oriente basin at a licensing round in March. 

Its contract obligations include a commitment to drill 14 wells over the next three years across the blocks. 

"Exploration activities are scheduled to commence in 2020 or late 2019 if possible," CEO Gary Guidry told analysts during a quarterly earnings call. 

He added the company could invest in new "strategic infrastructure" in Ecuador while also considering the use of existing facilities. 

Calgary-based Gran Tierra said its 2019-23 exploration program envisages the drilling of five to 10 wells a year, pending licensing approvals. 

It revised down its 2019 production guidance to 35,500-37,500boe/d from 41,000-43,000boe/d. The announcement came after the company posted second-quarter working interest output of 35,340boe/d, down from a 2018 full-year average of 36,209boe/d. 

The volumes were impacted by protests at the Suroriente and PUT-7 blocks and temporary operational problems at the Acordionero field, Guidry said. 

Full-year capital expenditure is seen reaching US$330mn to US$340mn, including US$155mn to US$160mn for development, US$75mn to US$80mn for exploration, US$75mn to US$80mn for facilities and US$20mn to US$25mn for seismic and studies.

The capital program will be fully funded by cash flow, chief financial officer Ryan Ellson said. 

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