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Colombia reports reserves drain

BOGOTA, May 19, 2017 – Colombia, South America’s fourth-largest crude producer, said on Thursday that its reserves had declined about 17% to 1.66 billion barrels last year.

Production also fell by about 12% in 2016, owing largely to violence by leftist guerrillas and to the effects of the slump in oil prices since 2014. Despite a fragile peace process with the FARC militant group, attacks on pipelines by other groups have continued in recent weeks.


At current levels of output, at 885,000 bopd in 2016, the country’s reserves-to-production ratio would be roughly 5 more years, though officials have said they remained optimistic that an uptick in exploration, with oil prices mostly topping USD 50 per barrel in recent months, will result in the addition of reserves.

More wells have been spudded in the first four months of the year than in all of last year, German Arce, the country’s minister of mines and energy, told Reuters.

“Thanks to a recovery in international prices, exploration activity continues its recovery,” he added.

Several important gas discoveries have also helped top up the country’s hydrocarbons reserves, with gas reserves more or less steady at 100 bcm (3.53 tcf) over the past decade.

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