Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol said Tuesday that it would focus on developing new offshore oil wells to mitigate the damage caused by falling oil prices.
Ecopetrol president Juan Carlos Echeverry also indicated that production would be increased in high-yield wells already in existence. To that end, 20 oil fields responsible for 80% of onshore production will be targeted.
“We have to be very selective about where we invest – Colombia’s coast, the Gulf of Mexico and key production in the country to keep cash flow – are the three priority focuses at this moment,” Echeverry said to Caracol Radio.
In 2014, Ecopetrol’s profits dropped 42.7% primarily due to falling global crude prices, lackluster sales, and occasional guerrilla attacks on pipelines.
These difficulties have also prompted Colombia’s state-owned oil company to trim their 2015 investment plan by 26%, to $7.86 billion.
Additionally, Ecopetrol has opted against renewal of Canadian company Pacific Rubiales’ lease on Colombia’s largest oil field, Campo Rubiales, possibly in preparation for Ecopetrol’s eventual assumption of control over the field.
Ecopetrol will leave marginal wells with higher extraction costs to other companies.