Shell Takes Stakes in Colombian Gas Blocks
Anglo-Dutch Shell has closed the takeover of 50% interests in the Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel and COL-5 blocks off Colombia's Caribbean coast from the country's state-owned Ecopetrol, the latter said on December 23.
Under the deal, first announced in February, Shell has assumed operatorship of the blocks and will cover Ecopetrol's share of exploration costs. The pair aim to drill an appraisal well in 2021.
Ecopetrol and Texas-based Anadarko made the play-opening Kronos-1 discovery at the Fuerte Sur block in July 2015. The partners went on to discover more gas at the Purple Angel block after drilling the Purple Angel-1 and Gorgon-1 wells in 2017. However, Anadarko transferred its offshore interests in Colombia back to Ecopetrol in 2019 shortly before it was acquired by fellow Texan producer Occidental.
Colombia is looking to replenish its dwindling gas reserves to maintain production, which has been supplemented in recent years with LNG imports via a terminal in Cartagena. Its proven gas reserves are 3.6 trillion ft3, according to BP data, or enough to maintain its output in 2019 for less than eight years.