The Ministry for Mining and Energy stated it anticipates petroleum output will reach 920,000 barrels per day by the end of 2011 and 1,350,000 barrels per day by December 2014, Colombian newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
“We hope that shortly we will receive good news about the contracts assigned in the Eastern Plains and the Orinoco region; close to 29.6 million acres have been given over to exploration where expectations are high,” said Mining and Energy Minister Carlos Rodado Noriega. It is hoped that more than 600 development wells will be drilled per year.
According to figures from Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency, average petroleum output for 2011 stands at 892,000 barrels per day. Earlier today Rodado Noriega said that petroleum output in July had been adversely affected by a strike and protest by disgruntled employees of Canadian energy firm Pacific Rubiales in the department of Meta.
The minister added that state-run oil company Ecopetrol is modernizing the refinery at Barrancabermeja, in the north central department of Santander, at a cost of $3.38 billion which will go into operation in August 2015. Also $3.89 billion is being invested in the refinery in Cartagena which will increase capacity to 165,000 barrels. It will go into operation June 2013.