According to a government study, Colombia has a striking potential for the discovery and exploitation of fossil fuels in the medium and long term, reported El Espectador newspaper Friday.
El Espectador reported projections of more than 13 billion barrels of oil over the next twenty years, a figure that parts dramatically with the Minister of Energy’s November 2013 estimate that Colombia’s oil reserves will be gone within seven years.
A report by the government’s Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME) indicates that a significant portion of the mining potential comes from the exploitation of complex resources such as heavy crude oils and shale oils.
Colombia’s prospects in this area would require the participation of all major watersheds in order to realize the potential, says UPME.
According to UPME’s infrastructure analysis, the realization of Colombia’s mining potential would require an investment of $6 billion annually for the next 10 years, with an increase to more than $9 billion per year between 2022-2030 to develop unconventional fuel sources.
The government estimates that the country has high potential for attracting potential investors in the area of these unconventional fuel sources, said El Espectador.
The UMPE study also says that the development of methane gas associated with the coal mines Cerrejón and Drummond could almost triple the country’s current reserves.
According to the state agency, the first period of development should see the construction of a 300,000 barrel-per-day up-grader which will cost $3.7 billion and begin operating in 2017; and the construction of a Pacific pipeline, estimated at $2.2 billion.
During the second period of development, says UPME, investments should concentrate upon exploration and development, and the construction of a $2.7 billion liquefied natural gas plant for the export of excess gas, to begin operating in 2020.