BP to bring Cusiana up to full capacity in early Sep

Thursday, August 18, 2005

British oil giant BP (NYSE: BP) plans to bring its Cusiana gas processing complex in Colombia's Casanare province up to full capacity of 180 million cubic feet a day (Mf3/d) in early September, a BP spokesperson told BNamericas.

Cusiana is currently producing 130Mf3/d, of which about 85-90Mf3/d is sold to local firm Gas Natural ESP, which distributes the gas in capital city Bogotá. The remainder is sold to a distributor called E2 that distributes gas in the city of Cali.

Natural gas began flowing to industries in Bogotá on August 16 after being suspended for about a week due to maintenance at the Cusiana facilities.

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The maintenance on the processing facility was expected to take until August 22, but BP was able to reestablish service "much earlier than expected," the spokesperson said.

Gas supplies to residential and commercial consumers were guaranteed during the rationing period.

BP signed a US$350mn contract with Gas Natural ESP in early 2004 to sell 90Mf3/d from Cusiana to Bogotá over seven years. The idea is to help meet growing gas demand in central and southern Colombia.

BP and its partners invested US$100mn to expand their oil and gas processing facilities at Cusiana, raising output from 68Mf3/d in April this year to 130Mf3/d at present, which will rise to 180Mf3/d in September, the spokesperson said.

French company Total subsidiary Tepma and state oil company Ecopetrol are BP's partners on the Cusiana oil and gas field in the eastern province of Casanare.

BP operates the field with a 24% stake, Ecopetrol has 60% and Tepma 15%.

BP produces oil and gas on four fields in Casanare province: Cusiana, Cupiagua, Pauto and Florena. Total oil production is currently some 150,000b/d, the spokesperson said.