Delegation Visits Colombia, Peru

Colombians elected Juan Manuel Santos as their new president on June 20, the day AAPG’s presidential delegation landed in Bogotá for a whirlwind tour with both tactical and strategic importance.

From there, AAPG President John Lorenz, Regions Vice President Alfredo Guzmán and Sections and Regions Manager Carol McGowen went to Cartagena, Colombia, and then to Lima, Peru – two Latin American Region countries and three cities in five days.

AAPG Region officers Enrique Velasquez (president), of Ecopetrol; Miguel Ramirez (president-elect), retired ExxonMobil; Victor Vega (vice president), BP; and Victor Ramirez (secretary-treasurer), Ecopetrol, accompanied the delegation throughout the ambitious schedule of appointments with 13 national and international oil companies plus four universities.

AAPG affiliates Asociación Colombiana de Geólogos y Geofísicos del Petróleo (ACGGP) and Sociedad Geologica del Peru (SGP) were hosts.


In Colombia, the AAPG delegations met with industry leaders who expressed belief that Santos, the former defense minister to the current president Alvaro Uribe, will have a priority to ensure Colombia’s security against guerilla resurgence when he takes office on Aug. 7.

The rapidly growing number of companies and many global partnerships now investing and working in Colombia and Peru seem a clear indication that the industry is less concerned about past terrorism threats, and are now eager to participate in the current resurgence of exploration activity for the region’s abundant natural resources.

In terms of industry activity, the timing of AAPG’s visit to the region could not have been better. As recently as April, World Bank’s regional chief economist Augusto de la Torre said in his economic forecast for Latin America (www.worldbank.org/co), “The region’s demonstrated resilience to economic crises and investment-friendly local conditions will raise the relative appeal of many Latin American countries as destinations for foreign direct investments.”

Indeed, without exception, each company visited by AAPG confirmed the reality of de la Torre’s forecast. The present pro-business economic climate in Colombia and Peru is attracting both local and foreign-direct investments in energy exploration and production by companies of all sizes.

Some estimates count the number of new companies entering the market in Colombia at nearly 40. For example:

  • Talisman Energy, headquartered in Canada, entered the market in Peru in 2004 from an office in Lima.
  • Talisman (Colombia) Oil & Gas opened its Bogotá office one year ago.
  • Houston-based Remora Energy opened an office in Bogotá in 2008 for its subsidiary, Columbus Energy’s Sucursal Colombia.

“Now that security is good, companies are hungry to work on Colombia’s amazing geology,” said AAPG member Stephen Hermeston, Remora Energy new ventures manager.

Service companies Halliburton and Schlumberger can easily quantify the growth in industry activity in the region. Hermes Aguirre, Colombia country manager for Halliburton, said that rig activity has increased nearly 300 percent, from 20-25 rigs operating in Colombia in the past two or three years to 80 actively drilling rigs in 2010. Halliburton’s 2009 capital investment in equipment of $80 million USD is the company’s largest such investment in the last 10 years.

Also, the number of workers employed by Halliburton in Colombia has nearly doubled in the past three years, increasing from 600 to 1,100 employees.

Large international oil companies working in Colombia during this time of intense activity include Petrobras, BP and Shell. And like E&P companies worldwide, they recognize the critical shortage of skilled workers and are taking steps to develop the next generation of their workforce.

BP, for example, which has been operating in Colombia for 23 years, places an emphasis on developing the local work force – its entire management team there is comprised of native Colombians. For students and recent graduates, the company offers internship programs.

While in Bogotá, the AAPG group also met with ACGGP President Ivan Olaya and other ACGGP representatives at the association’s offices. There, students from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, and EAFIT University in Medellin gave presentations about the activities of their AAPG student chapters.

The newest Student chapter at Universidad Nacional de Colombia was formed earlier in 2010 through the “enthusiastic support” of AAPG’s Latin American Region, according to Chapter president Ignaccio Iregin.

All three universities were straightforward in discussing their needs for software, books and ongoing support from AAPG and ACGGP. They all plan to collaborate with other universities to help start new student chapters and research groups, and to mentor new IBA teams.


Following Bogotá, the AAPG group’s flight to Cartagena arrived in plenty of time before the start of the Colombia Oil & Gas Investment Conference/World Petroleum Council Regional Meeting, scheduled at the historic Teatro Adolfo Mejia.

The immediate concern was an important meeting scheduled prior to the opening ceremony with Hernan Martinez, Colombia’s minister of mines and energy, and Armando Zamora, director general of ANH – both of whom shared their perspectives on the transformation of Colombia’s energy industry and prospects for the future.

Zamora was quick to credit Uribe for creating a democratic environment in Colombia to move forward the national economy. He reported the results of the previous day’s bidding round in which bids by companies worldwide were made on 96 of 229 blocks offered in all of Colombia’s basins both on-shore and off-shore, including Nicaragua’s Los Campos Basin, for a total 2011 investment of $1.2 billion USD.

Bidders included 12 new companies not previously working in Colombia.

In Lima, the AAPG team was warmly welcomed at SGP headquarters by SGP President Pedro Alarcon, past president Barbara Bruce and many other SGP members. John Lorenz was presented with a gold replica of an Incan warrior, and a pledge was made to maintain closer ties between AAPG and SGP.

Thank you

AAPG stands ready to disseminate the latest science to aid explorationists working in Latin America. Whether coordinating regional AAPG lecturers on cutting edge topics, providing training for new hires, access to AAPG digital data archives or book donations to universities, or partnering with our affiliate societies to offer conferences, AAPG is eager to build upon the ideas and relationships generated from this regional visit.

It is with sincere appreciation that AAPG thanks the Latin American Region officers and their companies for their time and dedication to help organize this important trip, as well as our host societies, ACGGP and SGP.

In Colombia, AAPG is grateful to Minister of Mines and Energy Hernan Martinez; director general of ANH, Armando Zamora; and the president of national oil company, Ecopetrol, Javier Gutierrez, for the generosity of their time and hospitality.

Thanks also to Talisman, Remora Energy, PetroBras, Shell, Chevron, BP Colombia, Pacific Rubiales Halliburton and Schlumberger for welcoming AAPG into their offices. In Peru, sincere thanks go to Plupetrol, Savia Peru, Ecopetrol Peru and Talisman.

Comments (0)

 

Regions and Sections

Regions and Sections Column - Carol McGowen
Carol Cain McGowen is the development manager for AAPG's Regions and Sections. She may be contacted via email , or telephone at 1-918-560-9403.

Regions and Sections Column

Regions and Sections is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news for and about AAPG's six international Regions and six U.S. Sections. News items, press releases and other information should be submitted via email or to: EXPLORER - Regions and Sections, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101. 

View column archives

Image Gallery

See Also: Bulletin Article

Transfer zones in rift basins are classified into convergent, divergent, and synthetic, based on the relative dip directions of adjacent faults within the transfer zone. Experimental models were constructed to determine the geometry, evolution, and fault patterns associated with each of these transfer zones. In addition, basement faults with initially approaching, laterally offset, and overlapping geometries were modeled. The models consisted of two layers, with stiff clay representing basement and soft clay representing the sedimentary cover. Laser scanning and three-dimensional surface modeling were used to determine the map geometry to compare the models with examples of natural structures. The experimental models showed many similarities with conceptual models but also showed more details and a few significant differences. Typically, divergent transfer zones are narrower than convergent transfer zones, for the same initial spacing between basement faults. The differences between the different initial fault configurations (approaching, laterally offset, or overlapping) are the degree of interaction of the secondary faults, the amount of overlap between the fault zones, and in some cases, the width of the transfer zone. The main faults propagate laterally and upward and curve in the direction of dip of the faults, so that the faults curve toward each other in convergent transfer zones, away from each other in divergent transfer zones, and in the same direction in synthetic transfer zones. A primary difference with schematic models is the significant component of extensional fault propagation folding (drape folding), accompanied by secondary faulting within the sedimentary cover, especially in the early stages of fault propagation. Therefore, all three types of transfer zones are characterized by significant folding and related variations in the shapes of structures. The transfer zones are marked by a progressive change in relief from the footwall to the hanging wall, resulting in a saddle-shaped geometry. The hanging walls of the faults are marked by a gentle flexure or rollover into the fault, with the amount of flexure increasing with fault throw away from the fault tip. The geometries and fault patterns of the experimental structures match some of the observations in natural structures and also provide predictive analogs for interpretation of surface and subsurface structures and the delineation of structural traps in rift basins.
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Experimental-models-of-transfer-zones-in-rift.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3723 Bulletin Article

Considerable effort has been devoted to the development of simulation algorithms for facies modeling, whereas a discussion of how to combine those techniques has not existed. The integration of multiple geologic data into a three-dimensional model, which requires the combination of simulation techniques, is yet a current challenge for reservoir modeling. This article presents a thought process that guides the acquisition and modeling of geologic data at various scales. Our work is based on outcrop data collected from a Jurassic carbonate ramp located in the High Atlas mountain range of Morocco. The study window is 1 km (0.6 mi) wide and 100 m (328.1 ft) thick. We describe and model the spatial and hierarchical arrangement of carbonate bodies spanning from largest to smallest: (1) stacking pattern of high-frequency depositional sequences, (2) facies association, and (3) lithofacies. Five sequence boundaries were modeled using differential global position system mapping and light detection and ranging data. The surface-based model shows a low-angle profile with modest paleotopographic relief at the inner-to-middle ramp transition. Facies associations were populated using truncated Gaussian simulation to preserve ordered trends between the inner, middle, and outer ramps. At the lithofacies scale, field observations and statistical analysis show a mosaiclike distribution that was simulated using a fully stochastic approach with sequential indicator simulation.

This study observes that the use of one single simulation technique is unlikely to correctly model the natural patterns and variability of carbonate rocks. The selection and implementation of different techniques customized for each level of the stratigraphic hierarchy will provide the essential computing flexibility to model carbonate settings. This study demonstrates that a scale-dependent modeling approach should be a common procedure when building subsurface and outcrop models.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Outcrop-analog-for-an-oolitic-carbonate.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3727 Bulletin Article

See Also: CD DVD

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 4563 CD-DVD

See Also: Online Certificate Course

You may sign up for these 5 courses as a package at any time, and the courses will begin the first day of the upcoming month.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-cc-renewable-energy-certificate.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 1451 Online Certificate Course

See Also: Online e Symposium

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-basic-tools-for-shale-exploration.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 1470 Online e-Symposium