Repsol has begun production at the Margarita 6 well in the south of Bolivia which, with six million cubic metres of gas a day, is the most productive well in the history of the country and of the whole Sub-Andean basin, which extends to Bolivia, Argentina and Peru.
This well belongs to the second phase of Margarita-Huacaya, one of the ten key projects of Repsol's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales and Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau inaugurated the enlargement of the Margarita gas processing plant at the beginning of October, which has exceeded all expectations, both for deadlines and production: the production volume was achieved one year early and today stands at 15 million cubic metres of gas a day, equivalent to 20% of Spain's gas consumption.
Margarita 6 is the second of four wells that Repsol will drill during the second phase of the Margarita-Huacaya project. Drilling commenced in April 2012 and ended on 5 October of this year, at a total cost of $74.5 million.
A series of new technologies have been used during the work on the well to optimise drilling times and guarantee a longer useful life, estimated at 20 years. Seven-inch diameter pipes were used to allow the production of high gas flows without risk of erosion. Furthermore, they are manufactured with Cr13 steel which protects the installation from the effects of corrosion caused by the carbon dioxide in the gas. Both the execution deadlines as well as the cost savings constitute a record within the industry, especially considering the geological complexity of the area.
The development plan for the Margarita-Huacaya area, which envisages a total investment of $640 million, is one of the key growth projects envisaged in Repsol's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan.
The Margarita and Huacaya fields constitute an overall production area covering 123,000 hectares. There are currently 6 wells in production, with depths that vary between 4,000 and 6,000 metres, located in Bolivia’s southern Tarija department.
Repsol is continuing the development of phase II of the project, in which two new wells will be drilled, Margarita 7 and Margarita 8, with 2D and 3D seismic, with which the company expects to reach depths of 4,350 and 4,500 metres respectively in 2014.
The Caipipendi Consortium in charge of the project is operated by Repsol with a 37.5% stake. The company is partnered by BG (37.5%) and PAE E&P (25%). During the construction of the installations 1,900 people were employed at the height of the activity, with a total 7 million hours per worker.