Colombia’s Ecopetrol to increase exploration

Colombia’s state-owned oil and gas firm, Ecopetrol, plans to step up its exploration campaign in regions of high prospectivity in South America, but forecast 2017 will still be a tough year, Kallanish Energy learns.

Company CEO Juan Echeverry said Monday “investment in exploration will rise from $280 million to $650 million, thus increasing offshore wells from 2 to 6 and onshore wells from 5 to 11 from 2016 to 2017.”

Meanwhile, enhanced recovery will continue to leverage additional reserves in mature fields, Echeverry said. Last year, 18 pilot projects were active — 12 of which showed production increases. At this stage, the program has contributed 1.65 million barrels of accumulated reserves of oil, with a significant share of these results achieved in large fields such as Castilla and Chichimene.

“2016 was a year of enormous challenges for Ecopetrol,” but “challenges in 2017 are no less serious,” Echeverry noted. “The quest for efficiencies and liquidity became the mantra in surviving the crisis. Added to this scenario were the challenges raised by the peace negotiation process, the closure of the border with Venezuela, the El Niño climate phenomenon, completion of the Reficar and Bioenergy projects, and approval of tax reform,” he said.

Total investment reached $2.5 billion last year, and is expected to increase by $1 billion, to $3.5 billion “to focus on opportunities to generate value for the Business Group.”

KAllanish Energy |

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