Pendare Field: Up and running before Christmas
The new oil production processing plant has just started up, bringing tangible benefits to the community as part of a more long-term development project, including a drilling plan.
The company’s new oil production central processing facilities (CPF) in the department of Meta in the Eastern Plains of Colombia finally started operations just before Christmas last year, heralding substantial increases in production volumes. "We were able to resume the development plan for Pendare in April earlier this year, so we started hiring," explained José Feretti, the company's manager in Colombia, to Tecpetrol Hoy.
Following the design of the plans in 2018, Techint Engineering & Construction began building the oil dehydration plant in 2019, but the arrival of the pandemic put the entire schedule on hold. However, work was resumed in the second quarter of 2021 in order to meet the goals set, and the project was successfully completed in December. Thanks to the new facilities, the Pendare field is looking at a threefold increase in current oil production, accompanied by a six-and-a-half times growth in gross water output.
The new hydrocarbon processing plant replaces an existing EPF and has been designed to process 100,000 barrels of water and 10,000 of oil a day, although, during the initial stages, the water output target has been limited due to reasons of generation and water injection capabilities, to a daily 60,000 barrels of gross production. "This new plant will be able to receive production from all the wells, even those not operating at the moment, condition the production received, and sell the oil," said Feretti. He also explained that the construction of the new facilities complemented a plan to drill thirty-eight wells to develop the Pendare field.
The drawn-out COVID-19 crisis and the collapse in international oil prices has had an impact not only on investment projects but also on production. "Last year, in the midst of the crisis, we had to close the entire field," Feretti explained. “When we resumed work, we had about sixty to seventy people onsite; today there are some 700 people working in the field and a total of 1,300 contracted workers.” Most of the local hires come from the neighboring communities of the Puerto Gaitán municipality.
Although the project has faced and overcome several difficulties over its three years of development, perhaps the hardest of these had to do with the application of operational practices in the midst of the wave of COVID-19 infections. Another challenge has been ensuring the level of operational discipline required to allow the project to progress smoothly without accidents. "The issue is making sure all resources can function together simultaneously," says Feretti, adding that “we routinely analyze risks and deploy preventive and mitigation barriers to prevent events from occurring." Another key task involved achieving synchronization with well drilling activities providing liquids to enable the plant to take advantage of its full potential, involving high precision coordination.
Driving down a country road in the municipality, before coming up to the Cuernavaca community, a phalanx of colossal fuel tanks heaves into view. Standing in a plot of almost 8 hectares, each one can store between 14,000 and 16,000 barrels of oil. These massive structures feature heavily in the many shots taken by employees for a photography contest organized as part of the Te Conecta program run by the Human Resources area in the region. A fitting postcard image with which to illustrate new horizons.
The prize-winning images in the Te Conecta program photo contest, organized by the Human Resources area: