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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 59 (1975)

Issue: 10. (October)

First Page: 1756

Last Page: 1813

Title: Petroleum Developments in South America, Central America, and Caribbean Area in 1974

Author(s): L. E. Hatfield (2), B. A. Tator (2), C. H. Neff (2)


The 1974 review presents information on petroleum developments in 30 countries and areas. Petroleum was produced in 11 countries with total production of 1,551,745,000 bbl (4,251,353 b/d) an 8.9% decrease from the 1973 production level. Venezuela accounted for the major part of the volume decline by reducing production 389,773 b/d from 1973 levels to 2,976,249 b/d. However, Venezuela still accounted for 70% of the total production of the area. Ecuador's production decreased by 15.2% to 177,029 b/d because of governmental restriction coupled with pipeline breaks. Production decreased less precipitously in Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile. Trinidad and Tobago reported the largest volume increase (12.3%) followed by Brazil (4.2%) and Peru (9.2%); in each, offshore act vities were responsible for these production increases and perhaps the most noteworthy development of the year was the increase in offshore activity.

Total wells drilled were 1,730, an increase of 92 or 5.6% over the 1973 level with Brazil and Peru reporting increases of 46 and 63 wells respectively. The number of exploratory wells completed (405) represents an increase of 21 or 5.5% over 1973 completions with Peru reporting 43, an increase of 38.7% above the 1973 level. Brazil reported 17 rigs operating in the offshore. Successful exploratory completions (128) increased by 4%. Peru and Venezuela recorded the highest success ratios (51 and 66% respectively) of the 13 countries in which exploratory wells were drilled. Exploration drilling results offshore Caribbean and Pacific Nicaragua (3 wells), Gulf of Panama (2 wells), and Guyana (2 wells) continued to be disappointing. A new-field discovery in Guatemala (Rubelsanto 1) has the p tential to be Central America's first commercial production.

Geologic and geophysical party-months of field work (1,150.2) registered a 12.5% increase over 1973 which reflected a 125.4-party-month (+16.1%) seismic and a 28.5-party-month (+74.2%) gravity increase; however, surface geology decreased by 20.7 party-months (-10.8%). Peru reported the highest total (271 party-months) of seismic activity, an increase of 14%, but Bolivia with 92.9 party-months registered a 228% increase. Argentina and Brazil maintained their 1973 level of seismic activity with 268 and 117 party-months respectively.

Four new contract operations were signed with YPFB making a total of 11 operational companies or groups exploring in Bolivia at year-end.

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