Colombia’s Ministry of Energy announced Wednesday production of crude oil has dropped by 0.5% in the last year.
The government study reported that crude oil output stood at 934,000 barrels per day in June, compared with 939,000 from the same time last year.
The government’s target to produce 1 million barrels per day have been hampered by recent attacks on oil pipelines by guerilla groups. In addition to bombing the actual pipelines, armed militias have also planted land mines to make working sites unsafe.
FARC attacks and threats against oil infrastructure in southern Colombia completely halted the production of a major multinational company, Emerald Energy, in March. The company, which had a potential oil production rate of 3,120 barrels of crude oil per day in the north of Caqueta, has suspended its operations in the region indefinitely.
In June, Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, the ELN, declared oil workers in the eastern Arauca department a “military objective.” On July 4, ELN began a three-day attack on oil infrastructure staged to celebrate the guerrilla group’s 48th year of operations. The rebels torched vehicles, set up roadblocks, and kidnapped a petroleum engineer.
The attacks come at the end of a boom period for Colombia’s oil industry. From 2007 to 2011, production rates increased to a record monthly average of 962,000 barrels a day in November of last year.
On June 20, the country’s private oil association said Colombia would need at least $120 billion in investment over the next ten years to reach and sustain oil production of more than 1 million barrels per day.
Colombia is Latin America’s fourth-largest oil producer.