Bloomberg News

Colombia Sees Oil Output of 1 Million Barrels by Year-End

May 22, 2012

Colombia, South America’s third- largest oil supplier, will reach 1 million barrels of crude production before year-end, pending environmental permits for fields.

“We are just waiting for some environmental licenses that will allow us to increase production at one or two of our major fields,” Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas said in an interview today in New York, without identifying the fields.

Sabotage and social protests have prevented Colombia from reaching 1 million barrels a day, a target that was set for last year. Attacks on electricity transmission towers, pipelines, roads and bridges increased last year for the first time since 2008, according to government statistics.

Colombian oil production fell 4.8 percent in February to 896,000 barrels a day after rebels attacked pipelines. It climbed to 951,000 barrels a day in March and 955,000 barrels a day in April as sabotage declined.

Colombia will produce an average of 970,000 to 980,000 barrels a day in May and June, Cardenas said. The nation is looking to add reserves through a government auction of exploration and production rights this year. The 109 blocks include unconventional fuels that have drawn interest from U.S. companies, he said.

“We have to make this sustainable,” Cardenas said.

State-run oil company Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL) and Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (PRE), owners of the Rubiales oil field, are the nation’s largest producers.

Brazil and Venezuela are South America’s largest oil producing nations.

To contact the reporters on this story: Drew Benson in New York at abenson9@bloomberg.net; Heather Walsh in Bogota at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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