Colombia produced an average of 854,121 barrels of oil per day in 2017, down from the 885,000 average of the prior year, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
This nearly-31,000 drop, a decrease of 3.4%, was expected, however, and the actual output did exceed the ministry’s previously released “medium-term” estimate of 840,000 barrels of oil per day.
Some good news was seen in December. The average monthly production of 870,328 barrels per day was up 2.3% compared to November and 3.9% above the average seen in December 2016.
Pipeline disruptions, particularly due to attacks on the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline in eastern Colombia in the first half of the year, caused pumping to be halted for extended periods at certain oilfields.
Though a bilateral ceasefire negotiated with ELN, the country’s last remaining armed leftist guerrilla group, helped to ease these issues in the third and fourth quarter of the year, that ceasefire has now ended, and the group has been blamed for carrying out several pipeline attacks over the past week.
Ecopetrol, the Colombian state-controlled oil company and primary producer in the nation, plans to ramp up its production and investment in 2018 with an investment of up to $4 billion USD. It has set a goal for the Bogotá-based company to produce up to 725,000 barrels of petroleum-equivalent per day in 2018 and expects to drill at least 620 development wells and 12 exploration wells during the year.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation of the United States and two Canada-based firms, Frontera Energy Corp. and Canacol Energy Ltd., are among the other high-profile oil companies operating in the country.
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