Colombia has dusted off plans to build their side of an oil pipeline connecting oil fields in Venezuela and the Pacific Ocean, Venezuelan El Universal newspaper reported on Monday.
The Colombian Vice-Minister of Energy, Orlando Cabrales, said Colombia was aiming to open new dialogue with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, but it looks likely that the Colombian side of the pipeline will be built using another partner.
Long time coming
In 2011, the foreign ministers of Colombia and Venezuela agreed to create a joint venture company to create an oil pipeline from the Orinoco River in Venezuela to the port of Tumaco on Colombia’s Pacific coast.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister at the time, Nicolas Maduro said the oil pipeline would go from the Venezuelan state of Bolivar in the east of the country, to Tumaco, in the southwest Colombian department of Nariño and will be 1,864 miles long.
But late last year, Canadian company Enbridge and Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol were in talks to build the Colombian part of the pipeline.
“There have been initial conversations with Enbridge and other companies to look at the different alternatives to build this pipeline,” Ecopetrol spokesman Mauricio Tellez said.
Opening up another port “crucial”
China and India represent important growth markets for Colombian oil exports as the U.S. becomes more energy independent, Colombia Mines and Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta said and the majority of Colombian oil is currently exported through the Caribbean port of Coveñas.
But Tumaco, in the south-west Colombian department of Nariño, touted as the Pacific terminus of the pipeline continues to be plagued by guerrilla attacks on existing infrastructure.