Oil production and exploration continues to expand in Colombia, with companies planning to open 110 new exploratory wells this year.
For the past two months, these companies have been going through proceedings with the Environment Ministry to secure the permits necessary to expand exploration in new parts of the country.
Ecopetrol, Cepcolsa, Emerald, Ramshorn, Petrolifera, Pacific Stratus, Thorneloe, Columbus Energy, and Nexen are seeking permits. In 2009, the government’s oil-licensing agency, the ANH, reached 58 agreements. For 2010, the current figure is at seven agreements, but will most likely surpass 2009 contracts, when the agreements from the Open Round Colombia 2010 are finalized.
Colombia has the fifth-largest crude oil reserves in South America, and currently exports around half of its production, with a significant portion of this going to the United States.