Advertisement

BRIEFLY / ENERGY

Occidental Begins Drilling at Colombia Site

November 04, 2000|Reuters

Occidental Petroleum Corp. began drilling a long-delayed test well in a potentially oil-rich corner of Colombia, where U'wa Indians have threatened mass suicide to defend what they claim are ancestral lands. The $40-million, 14,300-foot Gibraltar-1 test well in northeast Norte de Santander province had been scheduled to be sunk in the first half of the year. But drilling was repeatedly postponed because of legal challenges from U'wa leaders, Marxist rebel attacks and bad weather. A statement from the Mines and Energy Ministry and state oil company Ecopetrol said drilling in the so-called Samore block finally got underway early Friday. The block has been billed as the country's biggest oil prospect and is thought to hold reserves of about 2 billion barrels, according to Los Angeles-based Occidental. Occidental, backed by the Colombian government, maintains that the well site is located just outside the legal limits of an U'wa reservation. The company has said it will take about seven months to complete the well.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|