February 27, 2012 / 11:50 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Petrominerales slips as exploration falters

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Petrominerales Ltd said its reserves at the end of 2011 was lower than a year earlier, as the South America-focused oil and gas company grappled with lower-than-expected success from its explorations programs.

Shares of the company slid as much as 14 percent to C$20.37, before paring some of the losses to trade at C$20.50 in early trade on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Petrominerales said proved plus probable reserves at the end of 2011 were at 51.5 million barrels of oil, down 14 percent from the 60.2 million barrels it had recorded at the end of 2010.

It also said production averaged 33,511 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in January, down from the 36,041 bopd in December. Production for 2011 averaged 38,378 bopd, up four percent from a year ago, it said in an update.

The company also said it abandoned a well on Block 31 on the Deep Llanos Basin in Colombia after recovering only trace amounts of hydrocarbons from it.

Petrominerales also said production rates at its first horizontal well, Tatama-1, near one of its heavy oil blocks in the Llanos Basin, were lower than expected.

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