Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has emphasized the contribution of mining and oil to the Colombian economy in a speech on the country’s Caribbean coast.
Colombia’s President and candidate for re-election, Juan Manuel Santos, highlighted on Wednesday the contribution of the mining and oil sectors in developing the country, which since 2010 has injected $19.2 billion in royalties into the Colombian economy.
This four year figure is a small slice of the oil picture. In the six months between January and July of 2013, all Colombian exports amounted to $33.9 billion, with $15.7 billion, or 46.3% of total export dollars, from petroleum alone, according to figures from the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
Santos gave his statements even though his own mining minister confirmed last year that Colombia’s proven oil reserves are predicted to run out within seven years.
Santos explained in Cartagena that to improve the reserves position of the government he had launched a plan that includes the development of heavy oil, improving economic conditions for the exploration and exploitation of these resources and the exploitation of unconventional reservoirs.
The President explained that in the past four years the sector as a whole has experienced an “average growth rate of 8.9% and its share in GDP rose to 7.8%.”
As of February 2014, Colombia has 2.2 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a figure which means that the country ranks fifth in South America.
Most of these reserves are allocated to the export market which is currently the fourth most important in Latin America and export growth has been large. However given that reserves are predicted to run dry within seven years it is unsure how Colombia will make up the loss to its economy.
The president made his statement at the opening of the Tenth International Congress of Mining and Petroleum (Cinmipetrol), which began on Wednesday in the city of Cartagena in northern Colombia.
Santos emphasized the importance of the industry to Colombia’s economy as one that is leveraging the social and productive development of the country, and reiterated support for the industry.
En Cartagena, en Congreso Internacional de Minería y Petróleo, reiteramos compromiso para que el sector siga creciendo responsablemente.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 15, 2014
With regard to Colombia ‘s oil reserves coming from newly discovered fields, Santos said that “the outlook is encouraging.”
- Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en la Apertura del Congreso Internacional de Minería y Petróleo (Presidencia de la Republica Colombia)