Colombia April oil output climbs 5.2% on year to 1 MMbopd
BY DAN MOLINSKI
BOGOTA -- Colombia's oil output averaged 1.006 MMbopd in April, about the same as the previous month and 5.2% more compared with April 2012, Energy Minister Federico Renjifo.
Colombia has more than doubled production of crude oil over the past seven years and is now South America's third-largest producer after Venezuela and Brazil.
The rise in output is partly due to the government's success in reducing the strength of leftist guerrilla groups, which is allowing for new exploration and drilling in remote regions of the country once deemed too risky for oil firms worried about bombings and kidnappings. Attractive tax and royalty rates for foreign oil companies have also helped fuel investment and exploration in the sector.
Speaking to reporters at Colombia's Congress, Mr. Renjifo said oil production through the first four months of the year is averaging 1.01 MMbopd, which is in line with the government's production goals and 8% higher than the 936 Mbopd in the January to April period of 2012.
While investors have cheered Colombia's rising oil output, there are concerns over its reserves, which will only last another seven or eight years at the current rate of production. As such, the government is urging oil companies to ramp up spending on exploration, in the hopes of a big discovery.
Dow Jones Newswires