Ecopetrol in ‘STAR’ post-pilot study

STAR man: Ecopetrol boss Javier Gutierrez

Ecopetrol has moved closer to adopting Pacific Rubiales’ STAR Technology to extract heavy crude more efficiently from one of its fields.

The Colombia state player’s board met on Wednesday to consider using the technology in the wake of an ongoing pilot project from Canadian explorer Pacific Rubiales.

Although Ecopetrol did not say outright that it is to adopt the technology, it did say the partners have agreed to wind down the pilot and establish a technical team to conduct “a comprehensive post-pilot study”.

Pacific Rubiales has said that pilot tests of its STAR technology to extract heavy crude have been successful and proposed that Ecopetrol adopt the technology.

STAR, which stands for Synchronised Thermal Additional Recovery, is designed to increase the recovery of crude by heating the oil inside the well, bolstering output.

The technology is considered secondary because it seeks to extract oil that primary extraction was unable to recover from the wells.

Ecopetrol is considering using STAR at the Quifa oil field in Meta province, which is owned by the two companies.

The recovery rate through 31 October last year came in between 27.6% and 29.1%, Pacific Rubiales said earlier this month.

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