Pacific Rubiales Sees CPE-6 Drilling Beginning Next Month

Pacific Rubiales (PREC) Energy Corp., Colombia’s largest oil field, expects to receive a license next month to explore and produce at its CPE-6 block in Colombia, Chief Executive Officer Ronald Pantin said.

The regulator will receive additional company data allowing the process to move ahead, Pantin said in a phone interview yesterday in Bogota.

Shares of Pacific Rubiales tumbled 6.1 percent yesterday in Bogota after Luz Helena Sarmiento, director of the National Environmental Licensing Authority, said the regulator expects licensing for CPE-6 by year-end. Sarmiento later corrected the comments, saying the regulator expects to make a decision in October or early November.

Pacific Rubiales rose 4.2 percent to 46,680 pesos at 12:55 p.m. in trading in Bogota. Talisman Energy Inc (TLM), which has a stake in CPE-6, slid 1.3 percent to C$14.17.

Pacific Rubiales plans to be able to begin drilling at its CPO-12 field next week. The license has already been awarded to the company, Pantin said. Sarmiento said she expects outstanding issues to be resolved, allowing exploration to begin within a maximum of 15 days.

The company expects the regulator to respond in October to a request to modify a permit to allow for additional platforms, roadways and transportation infrastructure at Quifa Northwest drilling area, said Federico Restrepo, a spokesman for the company, in a telephone interview today in Bogota. Pacific resubmitted the request in June with more information after the authority denied the initial petition the same month, he said.

Cajua Field

Separately, production at Pacific Rubiales’s Cajua field will rise to about 12,000 barrels a day by the end of the year from 2,500 barrels a day now, according to Pantin.

Pacific Rubiales yesterday said in a statement following Sarmiento’s comments that it has 12 “licensing processes” before the authority, five which have been awarded and seven in evaluation. Licensing processes don’t compromise the company’s production estimates, Pacific Rubiales said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Walsh in Bogota at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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