Colombia’s oil sector is booming, but the success rate in the country’s exploratory wells through the first three months of this year is 0%, according to official data out Monday.
The oil-licensing agency ANH said that of the country’s 38 exploratory wells in the first quarter, 12 were classified as dry and 26 as still being tested, while none was classified as a producer.
The wells include those explored by state-controlled Ecopetrol (EC, ECOPETROL.BO), as well as those of private firms operating in Colombia, including Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales (PEGFF, PRE.T).
Colombia had 112 exploratory wells in 2010, of which 63 were deemed producers, four as “being tested” and the other 45 were classified as dry, giving the country a 58% success rate.
Juan David Pineros, an energy analyst at Colombia’s main brokerage InterBolsa, said that the first-quarter numbers could improve because some wells drilled by oil company Petrominerales Ltd. (PMGLF, PMG.T) have recently been classified as producers.
Still, he said, the overall success rate would still be “very low as compared to previous periods,” noting that the success rate through March 2010 was 72%.
Colombia’s crude-oil output rose 14% in March from the same month a year earlier to 884,000 barrels a day, fueled in large part by improved security and large inflows of foreign direct investment. The increase brings the country closer to reaching its target of pumping 1 million barrels per day before the end of the year.