Ecuador’s state oil company Petroamazonas reported today that it began drilling the Tambococha-2 well, located in the so-called B3 block, in the Yasuní national park, an area of high concentration of biodiversity in the province of Orellana, in the east of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
This is part of the development of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) project, an initiative that seeks to exploit Yasuní crude with the lowest possible environmental impact and the use of the best available technology.
The Tambococha-2, according to a statement from Petroamazonas, “will reach a depth of 6,000 feet in an estimated time of eight days, with an investment of 3 million dollars.” The Tambococha field estimates reserves and contingent resources of at least 287 million barrels of oil and its development plan includes the construction of four platforms, where 97 oil wells will be located with the technique of cluster drilling, in order to reduce significantly the use of surface space.
In addition, environmental measures include an ecological access that incorporates depressed passages and canopy bridges to allow the transit of wildlife, in addition to the planting of the area’s own slopes and permanent nature surveillance through special cameras.
In 2017, Petroamazonas obtained a production of 43,000 barrels per day of oil from the Tiputini well, also Block 43 ITT, which began production in the third quarter of 2016.
The ITT field has reserves and resources estimated at more than 1,672 million barrels of oil, which makes it the largest oil exploitation development project in the country. This project became important in 2007, when former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa then launched a proposal to leave the crude underground in that area, in exchange for compensation from the international community that would allow protecting the Yasuní Park.
With this, Ecuador intended to avoid the expulsion into the atmosphere of 407 million tons of carbon dioxide, which would be generated by the combustion of crude oil. The commitment of the international community did not cover the expectations and the initiative failed, so the Ecuadorian Government launched a “Plan B” that involved the exploitation of ITT with the greatest possible environmental and social responsibility, affecting an area smaller than one. per thousand, of the million hectares that form the Yasuní Park.
The government justified the oil project for the important resources it would obtain from the exploitation of the deposit, despite criticism from environmentalists and indigenous groups that fear environmental and social damage in that area declared a Biosphere Reserve. Oil is Ecuador’s main export product and an important basis for financing its fiscal budget. (I)