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Abstract: Discovery History of the Giant Cusiana and Cupiagua Oil Fields, Colombia

Nicolas George De'ath, Woodruff G. Leel

"In geology, the present is the key to the past--but the discovery of the Cusiana Field is the key to future exploration."

The Cusiana Field in Colombia is the largest discovery in the Western Hemisphere in the past 20 years and the largest in the 80-year history of the Colombian oil industry. The area attracted exploration attention in the 60s and 70s, and the Cusiana and Cupiagua accumulations were actually penetrated--so why were they not discovered? When Triton acquired the acreage in 1982, potential farminees were not attracted by the Cusiana feature and two farm-in wells were drilled on different play types in the license. in the late 80s, on two separate occasions, over 120 companies declined the opportunity to drill a Cusiana farmin well. On the second occasion, this occurred even after the Cusiana 1 discovery well had been drilled by BP, Total, and Triton.

The critical technological and commercial factors influencing the discovery history will be presented, as will perceptions on the political and economic climate and exploration prospectivity.

A summary of the petroleum geology will be described and development activities will be brought up to date.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90960©1995 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Dallas, Texas

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