In approximately two weeks the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) will open the qualification phase for companies interested in fracking pilots. It will be a new process in which the entity will analyze several proposals, with the aim of defining who will be the contractors that will develop the entire research process in two key basins of these deposits: Cesar – Ranchería and Valle Medio del Magdalena.
The new call, which is expected to be defined no later than November 23 – the day on which the contracts will be awarded – will be the starting point for interested oil companies to formally begin work with the communities, their relationship in the territories and the Application for the environmental license before Anla.
Although not all those interested in the process are known yet, industry sources pointed out that there are already several market players who have shown interest in the development of pilot projects for comprehensive research (ppii). It is, in fact, Ecopetrol, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, which have already been preparing in recent months to carry out all the research in these two basins.
Ecopetrol, for example, has already shown interest in the Middle Magdalena Valley. “We are attentive to participate in the competitive process that the ANH has announced for the allocation of Special Contracts for Research Projects (Cepi) for the development of Pilot Projects for Integral Research (ppii), for which we are waiting for the definitive terms of reference that establish the contractual conditions, ”said Ricardo Gómez, vice president of unconventional deposits at Ecopetrol.
The manager stressed that they have estimated to make investments of up to US $ 127 million for the Ppii. “The times will depend on what is established in the regulation, but, as we have said before, the important thing is not to do it quickly, but to do it well,” he added.
ExxonMobil, for its part, is finalizing the details to finalize its alliance with Ecopetrol. At press time, the company did not answer a series of questions from LR. However, Gómez stressed that they are “working on the consolidation of that alliance that, if achieved, would allow us to have the experience of one of the largest companies in the world and with the greatest experience in the operation of unconventional deposits.”
Another of the companies is ConocoPhillips Colombia, which, under the command of Álex Martínez, country manager, has carried out important work with the communities where it operates for a long time. In fact, Martínez confirmed to LR a few months ago (before the pandemic) that they were analyzing investing US $ 100 million in two pilots.
“Although preliminary calculations by the ACP indicate that for the comprehensive pilot research projects an initial investment will be required for the exploratory phase of around US $ 650 million in the first years of the projects, the value of the investment would be determined by the regulations definitive, the requirements regarding projects and wells for the evaluation of the technique, and the complexity of the fulfillment of the requirements that they stipulate ”, highlighted Francisco Lloreda, president of the ACP.
Carlos Leal, president of the board of directors of Acipet, highlighted that, for now “if the award is given in November, it would be expected that from the second half of 2021 drilling of the wells would begin.”
This is the schedule of the call
Specifically, the ANH explained that there will be three phases in the schedule before the day of awarding the pilot contracts. Between October 5 and 9 will be the presentation of the documents to obtain the authorization of the participants, while the 29 of the same month will be the presentation of proposals. Thus, from November 23, contracts will be signed, which, according to the entity, will be under the framework of a Special Research Project Contract (Cepi), which will be signed under a consortium or only the company that remains with the assignment.