Rubiales Oil Field

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Colombia Oil & Gas Fields

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Summary Information

  • Operator: Pacific Rubiales
  • Country: Colombia
  • Location: Eastern Llanos Basin
  • Production start:
  • Partners: Ecopetrol
  • Type: Oil - Very Heavy
  • Estimated Reserves: The field wide proved, probable and possible reserves volume is 501 million barrels (representing 11.8 percent of the oil initially in place) of which 83.2 percent is proved.
  • Production Volume: In 2010, average daily gross production at the Rubiales field was 123,581 bbl/d


  • The largest producing field in Colombia, and one of the biggest onshore fields in all of Latin America
  • The Rubiales field consists of mostly basal sands, which produces heavy oil of 12.5° API, and has an independently certified Stock Tank Oil Initially in Place (“STOIIP”) value of 4.17 billion barrels of oil.
  • The oil is transported on the Llanos Orientales Oil Pipeline


  • 1981 - The Rubiales field was discovered by Exxon
  • 1988 - a 28 year concession was granted.
  • Exxon then drilled 14 wells from 1988 to 1993.
  • 1994 - The field was then acquired by Coplex Resources in who drilled 5 additional wells by 1997. Due to financial problems within the company, the field was shut
  • 2000 - Tethys et al re-acquired it from Coplex
  • 2001 - Production was re-started
  • 2002 Rubiales Holdings acquired Tethys et al and quickly drilled 14 wells while improving field operations
  • 2006 - Mustang Engineering selected to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) and cost estimate services for a heavy oil upgrader complex


  • The Rubiales field consists of mostly basal sands
  • The geological model for the Rubiales field (proposed by RPS Scotia in 2007) was a hydrodynamic trap, with oil trapped by basin ward (northwestward) flowing formation waters trapping oil under a broad subtle structural nose at the top of the fluvial/alluvial Arenas Basales Formation. This trapping model is supported by a tilted oil water contact, pressure data in the reservoir section, log facies characteristics of available wells, and regional geologic information. The mapping method used to define prospective areas, using this geologic model, was the Trend Residual mapping method where subtle structural highs are identified as positive anomalies with a positive residual value when compared to the regional structural trend.


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