Colombia’s state-run Ecopetrol estimated it would average 615,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2010, from 521,000 boepd last year, the company said on Thursday.
Latin America’s No. 4 oil producer has seen a rise in output since President Alvaro Uribe took power in 2002 and launched a U.S.-backed offensive against leftist rebels which opened up areas of the nation once under guerrilla control.
The New York- and Bogota-listed company said in an investor presentation it expected average production of 750,000 boepd in 2011. It said it planned to dig 20 wells this year, 15 wells in Colombia and 5 internationally.
The company will complete seismic surveys of approximately 14,700 km (9,100 miles). This year it will also begin to mix biodiesel with diesel at its Barrancabermeja refinery, and begin construction on another oil pipeline.
The Andean nation saw declining production in the 1990s but better recovery measures, increased security and more investment in exploration and production saw output pick up.
Ecopetrol — which is 89.9 percent owned by the state — said on Wednesday that net earnings in the first half of 2010 rose 64.5 percent to 3.9 trillion pesos ($2.1 billion) compared with the same period last year.
The company — Colombia’s largest oil producer — has said it plans to invest $80 billion between 2011 and 2020, mainly in exploration and production. (Jack Kimball / Reuters)