BOGOTA, Colombia (Dow Jones)–Colombia’s state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol (EC, ECOPETROL.BO) reported a discovery Wednesday at an exploratory well in its decades-old Tisquirama block in the northern state of Cesar.
The block currently produces 2,400 barrels a day of crude oil, and the new find at the Tisquirama Este-1 well will allow the company to “significantly increase” production at the block, it said in a statement.
“In initial tests, the well produced 624 barrels of oil per day,” said Ecopetrol, which fully owns and operates the block.
The Tisquirama block has been producing since the 1960s, and the latest discovery is part of its near-field exploration efforts, in which exploratory wells are drilled near existing fields and can have a higher expectation of success than wildcat exploration.
Ecopetrol produced 724,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day last year, and aims for 1 million barrels a day by 2015 and 1.3 million barrels by 2020. To reach those longer-term goals, analysts say Ecopetrol will need at least one or more big discoveries.