Ecopetrol to decide next week on adopting Pacific Rubiales technology

BOGOTA, July 16 Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:22am EDT

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BOGOTA, July 16 (Reuters) - Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol will decide next week on whether to adopt Pacific Rubiales' STAR technology to extract heavy crude more efficiently, Mines and Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta said on Wednesday.

The verdict had been expected after a general meeting late on Tuesday but several members of Ecopetrol's board were traveling and unable to assist, Acosta told Reuters.

The board will meet again early on July 23, he said.

Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales has said that pilot tests of its STAR technology to extract heavy crude have been successful and proposed that its Colombian partner Ecopetrol adopted the technology.

STAR, which stands for Synchronized 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 will decide whether to use STAR at the Quifa oil field in Meta province which is owned by the two companies.

The recovery rate through Oct. 31 last year came in between 27.6 percent and 29.1 percent, Pacific Rubiales said on Tuesday.

Pacific shares fell in Bogota trading on Tuesday on rumors that Ecopetrol will reject the technology, analysts said. On Wednesday the share price rose 2.4 percent to 34,300 pesos. (Reporting by Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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