Colombia’s unconventional shale resources could possibly offer more value than the conventional production it has developed thus far. Colombia’s conventional reserves are at just under 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Prospective unconventional reserves based in the Middle Magdalena Valley, by comparison, are 2.7 to 4.6 times larger based on estimates from Ecopetrol, the state-owned oil company
The case for shale resource development in Colombia is borne out by the size of the resource potential it represents. Colombia’s 1P reserves (conventional) are at just under 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe; this figure combines oil and gas together). Colombia’s prospective unconventional reserves, by comparison, are 2.7 times to 4.6 times larger than current 1P reserves, based on Ecopetrol’s estimate of shale resource potential equal to between seven and twelve bboe.
Colombia’s shale resources are principally contained in La Luna formation, with the greatest potential located in the Middle Magdalena Valley basin, home to the country’s first oil production in 1918 at La Cira-Infantas. The thickness of La Luna formation, its geological maturity, and its high percentage of light oil make it particularly attractive.
The Middle Magdalena Valley Basin (MMVB) is a north-south trending intermontane basin located between the Eastern and Central cordilleras of Colombia which has produced most of the oil and gas in Colombia with over 40 discovered conventional oil fields, sourced out of Tertiary sandstone reservoirs. It has been the focus of shale exploration leasing and drilling activities. Historically, the MMVB has been an important source for the conventional onshore production of hydrocarbons.
Shale Formation Comparisions
|Parameter||VMM Tablazo||VMM La Luna||Neuquén Basin||Eagle Ford|
|Well Depth (ft)||10,000-14,000||9,000-12,000||10000||10,000-13,000|
|Gross Pay (ft)||300-900||1,000-2,500||100-600||100-300|
|Net Pay (ft)||150-450||950-1,900||50-300||100-300|
|Horz. Well Cost ($M)||13+7||13+7||Vertical||6-9|
|Temp. Reservoir (F)||184||175||–||335|
|Eff. Porosity (%)||8||15||7-12||6-14|
|STOOIP BBL/acre ft||40K-80K||750K-1,500K||–||75K-150K|
|Quartz Content (%)||5||5-15||0-50||5-26|
|Clay Content (%)||30||17||15-40||15-30|
|API||43 API+||26 API||40-45 API||40-60 API|