Colombia’s oil production in September rose to approximately 798,000 barrels per day, maintaining a trend of increased oil output as result of large inflows of foreign direct investment in the sector along with improved security in rural areas.
Armando Zamora, head of the government’s oil licensing agency, known as ANH, said Monday that oil output in September was very close to the 800,000 barrels-per-day mark. “Approximately in September we reached 798,000 barrels (per day)” Zamora said, confirming a statement he had made last week during a mining conference in Medellin.
The increase represents a 17.3% surge in oil output from September of last year. In August, oil output was 789,000 barrels per day.
Colombia has seen massive inflows of foreign investment to develop its oil and natural-gas industries as a result of the government’s market-friendly policies and its success in gaining control of territory once in the hands of Marxist guerrillas.
In 2009, average crude-oil output totaled 671,000 barrels a day, the highest since 2000, when average output stood at 688,000 barrels a day.
The country’s Mines and Energy Minister Carlos Rodado said in August that he expected the country’s oil output to average 767,000 barrels a day for 2010.
The country also expects to continue increasing output next year. Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-owned oil company, plans to increase oil production to up to 750,000 barrels a day in 2011, Chief Executive Javier Gutierrez said October 4.
The company, which produced 580,000 barrels a day in the second quarter, expects to increase production from several of its existing fields while also nearly doubling production from the assets in Colombia it recently purchased from BP PLC.
The ANH is expected to release the official oil output figures for September in the coming days. (Darcy Crowe / Dow Jones Newswires)