UPDATE 2-Ecopetrol, Talisman announce large oil find in Colombia

Mon Dec 9, 2013 10:50am EST
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* Proven reserves in onshore find of 35 million barrels

* Second discovery announced in a week for Ecopetrol

* Find is significant boost to Colombia's low reserves

By Luis Jaime Acosta and Peter Murphy

BOGOTA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Colombian state-owned oil company Ecopetrol and Canada's Talisman Energy Inc said on Monday they had discovered an estimated 1.3 billion barrels of oil in southeastern Colombia and that about a tenth of it was likely to be recoverable.

The announcement was the second in a week for Ecopetrol and an important addition to the diminishing reserves the country has been urgently trying to boost. The Andean nation also expects to eventually exploit shale oil and gas.

Proven reserves of the Castilla blend heavy crude with API gravity of 8 to 9 degrees are currently 35 million barrels, Ecopetrol said. That is roughly five weeks worth of production in Colombia, which produces about 1 million barrels per day.

Ecopetrol owns a 55 percent stake in the Akacias area, which covers about 5 percent of the total area of the CPO-09 block in Meta province, while Toronto-listed Talisman owns 45 percent. The companies hope to reach output of 25,000 barrels per day by 2015, up from around 5,500 barrels now, and 50,000 barrels by 2020.

"This is a significant discovery ... that I think will be beneficial to both our companies," said Talisman Chief Executive Officer Hal Kvisle. "There are significant reserves that can be booked at the proven level but also at the resource level."   Continued...