Colombia national oil company Ecopetrol said Tuesday its proven net reserves at the end of last year were 1.86 billion barrels of oil equivalent, an 8.3% increase from a year earlier.
Ecopetrol is the largest oil company in Colombia, where overall production had nearly doubled in the past five years to an average 930,000 barrels a day last month. The sharp increase in output is due to massive foreign investment into the sector as a result of the government’s market-friendly policies and its success in gaining control of territory once held by Marxist guerrillas.
Analysts have said Ecopetrol needs one or more big discoveries during the coming years to maintain production levels.
Ecopetrol, which accounts for 60% of Colombia’s total production, said in a statement that “the increase in proven reserves is due mainly to extensions of proven area, revisions of previous estimates in some fields, and acquisitions.”
It said the main increases in reserves came from the Castilla, Cupiagua and Chichimene fields that are operated directly by Ecopetrol, and Rubiales and Quifa fields, which it operates in partnership with Pacific Rubiales (PRE.T), Colombia’s largest private operator.
The reserve replacement ratio last year was 164%, which means that 1.64 barrels were added to proven reserves for each barrel of oil equivalent produced, it said.
Ecopetrol is a publicly traded company, listed in Bogota as well as in New York as American Depositary Receipts. The company’s shares ended Tuesday up 0.3% at 4,600 Colombian pesos.