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Pipeline from Rich Occidental Oil Field in Colombia Completed

April 10, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Occidental Petroleum Corp. has completed a 478-mile pipeline from its rich Cano Limon oil field over the Colombian Andes, the company announced Thursday.

The first tanker began receiving crude oil through the pipeline Tuesday and is to set sail Saturday, but production is only about three-fourths of what Occidental had previously projected.

The company expects the Cano Limon operation to be highly profitable.

″Occidental is delighted with completion of these new facilities, which have come on steam in record time,″ said company chairman and chief executive Dr. Armand Hammer.

Work on the pipeline began in early 1985. The West German company Mannesmann built the trans-Andean leg and San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. constructed the section from Rio Zulia to the Carribean port of Covenas.

Under guidelines established by Colombia’s Ministry of Energy, crude oil began flowing at 90,000 barrels a day and is to increase by July to 150,000 barrels a day.

A year ago, Hammer projected the field would be producing 200,000 barrels per day by mid-1986. Occidental’s president and chief operating officer, Ray Irani, had predicted production would reach 250,000 barrels a day by 1987.

″Maximum production levels beyond July will be established following an update assessment of reserves and reservoir performance in the field,″ the company said Thursday.

Occidental geologists estimate Cano Limon’s reserves at more than 1 billion barrels. Arturo Segovia, president of Colombia’s state-owned oil company, Ecopetrol, estimated them at 1.6 billion barrels.

Occidental discovered the field in the Llanos Basin of northeastern Colombia in August 1984.

At the time, Occidental held a 50 percent share in the field, with Ecopetrol retaining the rest. Last June, Occidental sold half its stake to the Royal Dutch-Shell Group for $1 billion.

Pumping at Cano Limon began on a small scale in December using part of the new pipeline that had been completed and space in other existing pipelines.

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