Colombia’s state-run Ecopetrol oil company said on Wednesday that it planned to invest $4.2 billion in building a new oil pipeline and upgrading infrastructure at Coveñas port.
Colombia, Latin America’s No. 4 oil producer, has seen a rise in oil and mining investment since 2002 when the government launched a U.S.-backed offensive against rebels opening up areas of the nation once under guerrilla control.
Ecopetrol, listed in New York and Bogota, said it had created a new company to take charge of the 960-km (596-mile) pipeline project, which will later be opened up to other oil producers.
The pipeline will run from the Llanos Orientales, where a major part of Colombia’s oil is extracted, to the Caribbean port of Coveñas. It will be built in three phases.
The first phase — with a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day — will start in October and should be completed by December 2012, an official at the company said.
The first phase and port upgrades will cost about $1 billion, Ecopetrol said. The company expects to invest a total of $4.2 billion in the three-phase project. (Jack Kimball and Javier Mozzo / Reuters)