Frontera Energy , and its partner GeoPark , have found hydrocarbons at the Perico block, in Ecuador, by drilling the Jandaya-1 exploration well.

Drilled to a total depth of 10,975ft, the Jandaya-1 exploration well encountered a 78ft vertical depth of potential hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir in three formations.

During the initial 24-hour test from the Lower Hollin formation, the well reported an average flow rate of approximately 750bbls/d and 1,000kcf/d of gas, for a total of 925 boe/d, with an average water cut of 17%.

The well was spud last month to assess the exploration prospect in the block’s north-eastern portion.

The partners plan to complete the well clean up and undertake additional flow testing in two other zones in the coming weeks.

The consortium of Frontera and GeoPark was awarded the Perico block in 2019.

The block, equally owned by Frontera and GeoPark, covers 7,170 hectares in the Intracampos area of north east Ecuador. It is operated by Frontera.

Frontera now intends to carry out long term tests at the Jandaya-1 well for at least six months, subject to approval from relevant authorities.

Frontera CEO Orlando Cabrales said: “Jandaya-1 is Frontera’s first operated well in Ecuador, and the first well drilled on acreage, awarded during Ecuador’s 2019 Intracampos bid round.

“We anticipate putting the well on long term test in February 2022, once permits are obtained. We’re optimistic that the Jandaya-1 well represents the first of many near field opportunities already identified across the Perico block.”

To determine the size of the discovery and mid-to long-term production levels, Frontera and GeoPark will conduct additional appraisal activities in the near future.

The partners will also prepare the environmental impact assessment concurrently, to secure a production environmental license.

Frontera is also planning to spud the Tui-1 exploration well in the southern portion of the Perico block next month.

Located approximately 6km from the Jandaya-1 well, the Tui-1 exploration well is expected to be drilled to a total depth of approximately 10,972ft.

The companies have also identified additional prospects for future drilling.

In December 2021, estimates revealed that Ecuador’s natural gas production was set to peak in 2022.