• Felix Tsourakis

Interview with PeruPetro's Technical Team

Following my article about why this is the best time to start looking at Peru's oil and gas industry, I had the opportunity to learn more about Peru's available assets, directly from PeruPetro's technical team. Peru is resource-rich, with over 421 MMbbl of proven and probable reserves in 4 basin, with 14 basins with high exploration potential open for exploration by new operators looking to unlock opportunities.

- The Talara basin has been producing 58% of Peru’s total oil production. What are the key characteristics of the basin? Do any of the 17 other basins share similar characteristics?

Talara Basin

The Talara Basin, which is located in the northern coast of Peru, has produced around 1.6 billons of barrels of oil from tertiary reservoirs which is 58% of Peru’s total oil production. Most of the reservoirs are under gas-drive mechanisms, low-quality rocks with permeability’s and porosity´s less than 2mD and 10% respectively. However, light oil is produced (> 30° API & < 2 cp) and processed in Talara refinery, very close to the operations.

Other producing basins, located in the northern jungle of the country, such as Marañon and Ucayali basins have cretaceous age reservoirs with water-drive mechanism, with better rock properties, such as Vivian and Chonta formations (φ > 15%, K > 1mD). These reservoirs produce from heavy to light oil from Blocks 192, 8, 67, 95 and 131.

Finally, to the south of Ucayali Basin, there is a big area known as Camisea, with volumetric Gas Condensate fields which produces more than 1BSCF per day of gas and 80 MSTB/d of NGLs from cretaceous and Permian age reservoirs such as Vivian, Chonta, Nia, Noi and Ene (φ > 15%, K > 8mD).

- Peru has 18 basins with hydrocarbons potential. With middle-sized IOCs looking into investing in the region, which basin would you recommend as a good place to start their E&P journey in Peru? What are the key opportunities available for them?

For a middle-sized IOCs, looking opportunities in fields on production, we recommend as a good place to start exploration the basins located in the Onshore of NW’s Peru and Marañon Basin.


Key Opportunities:

  • Areas close to facilities

  • New Refinery in Talara

  • ONP Pipeline with capacity

  • Areas with hydrocarbon production

  • Proven Petroleum systems

  • Light oil and gas associated production

  • Contingent Resources

  • Crude Oil Price Forecast in rise

In case of IOCs which are looking for exploration opportunities, we recommend to explore in the Fold and Thrust Belt Basin of Madre de Dios for gas.


Key Opportunities:

  • Madre de Dios basin has 10, 421 BFC of prospective resources (2U) from 3 prospects, 17 leads in the Fold and Thrust Belt Basin.

  • Madre de Dios has 685 BCF of prospective resources from 4 leads and 3 plays in the Foreland Basin.

  • Madre de Dios basin is an unexplored basin.

  • Hunt Oil acquired new seismic data in this zone in 2010.

  • Seismic Data acquired in 2007

  • Gas and Condensate

  • MT (magnetotelluric) project in progress


- Peru has over 421 MMbbl of proven reserves: what about contingent and prospective resources? How can potential operators unlock them?

Contingent and prospective resources depend on the price factor which could not be controlled, such resources will appear when the price improves turning such volumes in economic. New operators may unblock such resources using new and modern technologies, most of the fields under production need new technologies to continue producing. For example, the producing areas in Talara Basin come from shallow and intermediate reservoirs, there is great potential in deep reservoirs that had proven the existence of hydrocarbons.

Madre de Dios basin is a great opportunity for natural gas exploration, new technologies and environmental care should be considered.

- Could you tell us more about Peru’s seismic data coverage? Is there a multi-client agreement in place in Peru? If so, how can a prospecting company access the data?

Seismic coverage in Peru is mostly from the 70’ and 90’ in total we have almost 213,000 km of 2D seismic and 13,000 km of 3D seismic we need more seismic to diminish geological risk and attract new investment.

At the moment PERUPETRO has signed four multi-client agreements in which companies are reinterpreting existing seismic and also acquiring seismic along the Peruvian offshore area.

To access data you have to contact them: SEARCHER, PGS, CGG and ION and for additional information you can get it in our website : www.perupetro.com.pe or to our investor portal : www.upstreamopportunities.com.pe

- Peru’s mature fields in Talara have maintained a significantly robust production: How has this been achieved? Did you employ EOR? If so, how did you maximise its efficiency? What other technical solutions do you use to maximise the mature wells productivity?

Effectively, Peru’s mature fields in Talara have maintained a significantly robust production due to the following reasons:

1. As explained below, oil & gas production comes from “tight” reservoirs which stabilized at very low decline rates after many years of production (even though completion strategy includes hydraulic fracturing).

2. Main recent efforts were focused on new campaigns of infill drilling to reduce well-spacing and keep oil production pseudo-steady as possible.

3. There are some secondary recovery projects (gas flooding and waterflooding) which contributing with increasing recovery factors.

Despite this success, there are some opportunities to revitalize Talara’s oilfields with new IOR projects, more infill drilling campaigns, as well as, improvements in stimulation techniques (chemical treatments, HF) and production optimization projects.

- Furthermore, are there more exploration or mature field opportunities in the Talara field?

Average recovery factor in Talara is around 10% and may be increased with new revitalization strategies such as high-ways hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling combined with multiple HF, chemical EOR, selective waterflooding and gas flooding, immiscible nitrogen injection (including massive campaigns of Huff and Puff), chemical EOR among, field production automation, among others.

Talking about exploration opportunities, deep Horizons such as Cretaceous and Paleozoic show high potential for exploration. La Casita and San Pedro fields discovered Gas in these ones. Regarding mature fields, there is room to implement some secondary recovery projects, IOR and infill drilling to increase primary recovery factor.


- Peru has some very interesting deepwater exploration opportunities. What blocks Do these opportunities entail? What are the key characteristics of their geology?


Tumbes and Talara Basin:

Deepwater areas are still unexplored in Peru. However, IOCs have started to work in the area and have identified prospect and leads such as Cuy Prospect (water depth of 1000 m) which has high hydrocarbon potential from Mioceno targets. Also there are good 3D seismic acquired by Gold Oild in 2011, this seismic cube was reprocessed recently in 2021 by KEI and it has AVO processing.


Trujillo, Lima and Salaverry Basin: Companies such as Anadarko, Oxy, BP and Tullow have been working in these areas.


Key Opportunities:

  • Water Deep between 100-400 m

  • Tertiary and Pre- Tertiary Structures

  • Light Oil and Gas

  • Play Concepts: Bright Spot, Stratigraphic Channels

  • More than 15 proven reservoirs

  • Enhancement more than 90% of 2D Seismic Data

  • Proven Petroleum systems

Reservoirs of Good quality platform sands and turbidites from the Middle and Early Eocene and Seals of Shales and siltstones from the Late Oligocene in Salaverry and Trujillo Basin.



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