Upstream oil and gas activities in Colombia continue to move forward as always with no changes, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro confirmed over social media.
“In no part of the country has oil or gas been prohibited,” Petro wrote Oct. 20 in a series of posts on Twitter responding to speculation in the media and on social media that his new government had prohibited certain upstream activities.
“Oil, coal and gas exploration contracts continue normally… Current exploration contracts continue normally. There is no ban,” Petro wrote, adding that his government had the “right to defend ourselves from lies.”
Colombia, which shares a common border with energy-rich Venezuela and boasts Pacific and Caribbean coasts, has oil and gas reserves that are just enough to last around eight years each based on current production levels.
The lack of reserves goes against Colombia’s energy security goals and E&P activities in recent years have done little to change the country’s prospects. As such, recent presidential campaign promises by Petro to transition Colombia to renewables and away from fossil fuels in part to combat issues that contribute to climate change have put many investors at unease.
Colombia’s Mines and Energy Ministry is committed to resolving bottlenecks related to active exploration contracts as part of its push to continue strengthening the country’s energy security, the entity said Oct. 20 on Twitter.
“Colombia has enough resources to guarantee its energy sovereignty,” the ministry added, reiterating that it has respected more than 330 valid exploration and exploitation contracts.
“We will give all the guarantees so that oil and gas exploration and exploitation contracts are fulfilled, Colombia’s Mines and Energy Minister Irene Velez-Torres announced Oct. 20 on Twitter. “We have never said anything different. Confirmation of this is that since we came to the government, the production of oil and gas has increased,” she said.
Colombia’s hydrocarbon sector is responsible for 40% of the country’s exports, 25% of foreign direct investment and between 15%-20% of the nation’s fiscal income, not counting royalties, according to details revealed by Colombia’s former Mines and Energy Minister Diego Mesa prior to his departure from the ministry late this summer.
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