OCP enters a new phase with the transportation of Colombia’s segregated crude oil

  • The transport of Colombia’s crude oil is covered by the Bi-national Agreement signed in February 2013. As of May this year, OCP has transported more than 11 million barrels of Colombian crude oil from 7 producers in the Putumayo Department.
  • The so-called “Segregation Project” generates better trade relations with Colombia, consolidates bi-national integration and contributes by improving the economies of both countries.
  • The Project consists of the transport of API gravity 28 crude oil from Colombia through the Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline without mixing it with the Napo Crude oil, thus ensuring it retains its original features. There is a considerable price difference between heavy and medium crude oils in the international market, which is why OCP is moving forward with this initiative.
  • The maximum transport capacity for segregated crude oil is 15,000 barrels/ day.

Quito, June 12, 2017.- The first tanker with medium crude oil (API 27-28) transported by Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) Ecuador was loaded on June 11, with more than 418,000 barrels, thus ushering in a new era in the transportation of crude oil through this private pipeline. This crude oil is largely produced by Gran Tierra Energy, currently operating in the Chaza Field in Colombia where API 28 crude oil is produced.

The OCP began operating in 2003 and was designed to transport heavy crude oil (API 18). Given the interest shown by several producers in Colombia, since 2013, OCP Ecuador has been transporting crude from the south of Colombia, specifically from the Putumayo Department, where oilfields produce crude oils of several gravities (API 18- 31).

After almost 14 years transporting only heavy crude oils, the “Segregation Project” consists of transporting medium (or light) crude oils separately from heavy crude oils. According to this system, OCP Ecuador is now capable of receiving, transporting and dispatching another type of crude oil for producers in Colombia and Ecuador. This initiative provides new opportunities to revitalize the economy and the borders of both countries, as well as to promote investment in the South of Colombia.

For the development of this project, OCP Ecuador was sponsored by several governmental institutions, and its design took over a year, without significant investment, but making use of the technical know-how of Ecuadorian personnel.

According to Andrés Mendizábal, OCP’s CEO, “we reinvented ourselves within the context of regional hydrocarbon integration for the benefit of our clients and to continue generating value for the country".

The medium or light crude oil is received by OCP by means of tanker trucks at the Amazonas Station (Lago Agrio), where it is then stored in tanks specifically designed for this crude oil. Once an approximate volume of 300,000 barrels is reached, the crude oil is transported to Esmeraldas in a segregated manner (not mixed) to be exported by means of tanker ships.