Unless major investments are made, Colombia will run out of oil within six years, warned the president of Colombia’s oil industry association ACP.
On Wednesday, association leader Francisco Lloreda said the country will need $70 billion of investment in the oil sector to boost oil exploration enough to add 1.3 billion additional barrels to Colombia’s oil reserves within the next ten years.
However, the oil industry only anticipates the investment of $610 million for exploration and $3.2 billion of output, though this crisis has been long expected, reported Reuters.
Last year, the country’s oil reserves dropped by 13.2%, leaving only 2 billion proven barrels of crude oil left, equivalent to about 5.5 years of production.
In 2014, a similar warning was issued that the country’s dwindling 2.2 billion proven crude oil reserves would run out by 2020 unless new major oil fields were found.
At the time, the country was producing 1.2 million barrels per day, in comparison with last month’s production of a mere 914 million barrels per day, 11.1% less than April 2015.
This drop in daily production and the finding of new wells has given Colombia a few more years of oil, but drops in investment in exploration have impeded the finding of new oil wells while existing wells are depleting.
“The fall of reserves is serious; last year 87 million barrels were added to the proven reserves of the country but more than 300 million were produced, meaning, we are not recuperating the reserves we are consuming,” the ACP president said as reported by Tribu Magazine.
The low production coincides with a severe drop in foreign investment. In 2015, the country’s oil sector only received a little over $3 billion in foreign direct investment, down from almost $5.5 billion in 2012, according to Colombia’s Central Bank.
The drop in foreign investment is attributed to the global drop in oil prices, the closing of several oil wells, and fear for attacks by leftist guerrillas against pipelines.