Frontera eyes August restart for Nor Peruano pipeline

07 August 2018, Week 31, Issue 725

Frontera Energy said normal operations at the Nor Peruano oil pipeline in Peru are expected to resume at the end of August.

The Canada-based company halted production at its Block 192 concession in Peru’s Amazonian region of Loreto on June 5 after ruptures and a leak forced state-backed energy producer Petroperu to call force majeure on a section of the 1,106-km pipeline. 

Frontera’s combined oil and gas production from Colombia and Peru in the second quarter fell by 3.2% quarter on quarter to 64,140 boepd, largely as a result of reduced output at Block 192. 

Prior to the force majeure, the Block was producing about 8,600 bpd of crude. 

"We are encouraged that Petroperu has indicated that they expect the pipeline to be repaired and operating as normal by the end of August," Frontera’s CEO Richard Herbert said in a conference call to discuss quarterly results. "As soon as the pipeline is put back into operation by Petroperu, we will be ramping up our production to at least the levels that we had before the pipeline was shut down." 

Despite the output dip, Frontera said its second quarter sales reached US$350 million, 17% up on the second quarter of 2017. Operating EBITDA increased by 44% year on year to US$125 million, driven by higher oil prices and sales volumes. 

The company has increased its full-year EBITDA guidance by 6% at the midpoint to US$400 to US$450 million from a previous estimate of US$375 to US$425 million. 

In operations, Frontera completed the drilling of 24 development wells during the second quarter, compared with 33 development wells and two exploration wells in the first quarter. The company aims to drill 39 development wells in the current third quarter, with over 32 of these targeting the Quifa Southwest heavy oil area in Colombia’s Llanos Basin. 

Meanwhile, Colombia-focussed Gran Tierra Energy said ongoing growth at its Acordionero field in the Middle Magdalena Valley (MMV) helped to expand second-quarter production by 18% year on year to a record 35,400 boepd. 

The producer posted a quarterly net income of US$20.3 million, overturning a loss of US$6.8 million in the year-ago period. Oil and gas sales rose 70% to US$163 million, driven by higher prices, while EBITDA was up 146% to US$102 million. 

During a conference call with investors, CFO Ryan Ellson said the company was on track to reach its full-year guidance of between 36,500 and 38,500 boepd, with output expected to top 40,000 boepd in the fourth quarter. 

"It’s important to point out that this growth is being achieved organically through the drill bit," Ellson said.

For the remainder of 2018, the company intends to drill six additional development oil wells and one water injection well at Acordionero, three appraisal wells at Ayombero, also in the MMV, and three exploration wells at PUT-7 in the Putumayo Basin, southern Colombia.

Edited by

Ryan Stevenson

Managing Editor

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