Ronald Pantin, president of Canadian oil firm Pacific Rubiales, expects Colombia’s oil production to 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.
Director of the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), Armando Zamora, backed this prediction, saying that “sometime in 2010 or 2011 we will reach record levels of oil production in the country.”
By 2015, Colombia’s oil output could hit 1.3 million bpd, including 1.1 million crude oil and 200,000 natural gas, according to president of the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP), Alejandro Martinez.
Colombia’s oil production was up 18% to an average 763,000 barrels a day (bpd) in March, up from 647,000 bpd in the same month last year, according to figures released Tuesday by the ANH.
March’s production is the highest average monthly figure since December 1999, when output stood at 767,000 barrels a day, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Exports are predicted to expand as output goes up; “Preliminary results of a study on gas exports suggest that Colombia could start exporting to the Caribbean and Central America without compromising local supply,” says Zamora.
The ANH head commented that in both gas and oil, the bottleneck is transport, and so companies are currently investing in expanding transport infrastructure.
Colombia is currently exporting net 50,000 bpd of petroleum, according to the ANH.
Even given these new figures, Colombia has a long way to go to live up to recent predictions that it could overtake neighbouring Venezuela’s 3.1 million bpd production within ten years.