Speaking at an international conference on oil in Paris, the director for Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), Armando Zamora, claims that his country’s oil production is expected to double within five years, Colombian newspaper CM& reported Thursday.
The ANH director, who is responsible for regulating the hydrocarbons industry in Colombia, explained that the sector is experiencing a “very quick growth in production,” due to the improvements in security in the Andean nation, and the opening up of the oil sector to private investment.
Zamora expects that Colombian oil production, which stood at 720,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2009, will grow to 1 million bpd in two to three years, and reach 1.5 million bpd within five years.
He went on to note that Colombia has become the third largest producer in Latin America, enjoying a 12% market share in the region, overtaking Argentina and Ecuador, and now only trailing Venezuela and Brazil.
Solidifying Colombia’s future growth, Zamora said that he expects foreign investment into Colombian oil development to increase 25% in 2010.
In 2009, foreign companies invested $3 billion into Colombian oil fields.
Regarding the possibility that Colombia would join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Zamora said that Colombia has no such plans.
The ANH head explained that “it would be very difficult to control” their production which is one of OPEC’s principal rules, due to Colombia’s heavily privatized oil industry.
Zamora’s predictions back those of Ronald Pantin, president of Canadian oil firm Pacific Rubiales, who predicted earlier in April that Colombia’s oil production would hit 800,000 bpd this year, and even surpass its record high of 825,000 bpd, reached in 1999, La Republica reported Thursday.
“Later this year it should break the historic production. In fact, Colombia is aimed at one million barrels,” Pantin said.