Lots of oil and gas in Colombia, but few buyers

Energy and Mines Minister Hernan Martinez Torres said current rate of hydrocarbon production is more than 730,000 barrels per day and is expected to increase to over 800,000 bpd this year.

"In Colombia, if there's a big discovery, there's no one to sell it to. That's the sad part, so we have to expand our export possibilities," Torres said. He said his aim this year is to invest $4 billion in exploration projects. Colombia has about 1.6 billion barrels of proven hydrocarbon reserves.

Last year, 53 small oil and gas deposits were discovered. Gas production has increased from 700 million cubic feet per day to 1.1 billion cfd at present over the past three years, therefore new export markets such as Panama and Jamaica are being considered, he told the El Espectador newspaper.

A $3.7-billion project to expand the oil refinery in the northern city of Cartagena is underway, while the refinery in the eastern city of Barrancabermeja is being modernized with an investment of $3 billion, according to the daily on Tuesday.

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