Colombia’s crude oil production will likely rise to 700,000 barrels per day by the end of the year, the chief executive of state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol said Monday.
As of July, crude oil output rose to an average 657,000 barrels a day from 588,000 barrels a day in the same month last year, the government oil-licensing agency reported on its Web site.
Additionally, the country’s natural-gas production will likely be the equivalent of 150,000 barrels per day of oil at the end of the year, Ecopetrol CEO Javier Gutierrez added.
Gutierrez made the comments at the inauguration ceremony for Ecopetrol’s and Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp.’s (PRE.T) 235-kilometer heavy crude oil pipeline.
In 2008, average crude oil output totaled 588,000 barrels a day, the highest since 2001 when output for the year hit an average of 604,000 barrels a day. In 2000, the country’s output reached an average of 688,000 barrels a day.
If local consumption and production trends continue and no significant oil discoveries are made, Colombia will become a net oil importer by 2016, according to public remarks by President Alvaro Uribe.
The Colombian government has been actively trying to attract companies to explore for oil. (Dow Jones)