State-owned oil company Ecopetrol announced Wednesday that it is on track to produce 1.45 million barrels of oil a day by 2013, Reuters reported.
Ecopetrol set itself a target in 2007 of producing 1 million barrels equivalent per day (boepd) by 2015. However, Ecopetrol President Javier Gutierrez said that production was faster than expected with 616,000 barrels produced per day in 2009 and 750,000 per day in 2010.
Gutierrez added, “When we set that target in 2007 … we had to grow 12% a year to reach 1 million barrels. Last year we grew 18%, this year we plan to grow 22% so we could reach [the target] earlier.”
Colombia is currently the fourth largest oil producer in Latin America, however, an obstacle to further expansion of the industry has been the lack of petroleum infrastructure and a poor transport network.
Another problem for the company is presented by criminal groups such as the FARC who last week attacked an oil pipeline in the Norte de Santander department. The pipeline belongs to a company contracted by Ecopetrol.
The company also said that it expects exports to Asia to increase over the next five years. Most of the company’s oil (60%) goes to the U.S. Gulf Coast but it wants to expands into the Asian market where currently 20% of exports are destined.