Colombia will have a second bidding round to potentially grant contracts to companies interested in exploring non-conventional oil and gas deposits, using techniques like hydraulic fracturing, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) said.
Majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Drummond already have contracts for investigative projects and may submit offers in this new round, as can other companies, the ANH said in a statement late Nov. 10.
Development of non-conventional energy deposits—including fracking for shale gas—is highly polarizing in Colombia and commercial development of such deposits is currently not permitted.
Each company can be awarded up to two contracts, the ANH said, and a maximum of four contracts will be granted.
“The purpose of the pilot projects is to acquire sufficient scientific information so a decision about the use of hydraulic fracturing can be made, to take advantage of the potential of non-conventional energy sources,” ANH president Armando Zamaro said.
Ecopetrol has already submitted a proposal which is under evaluation, the ANH said, and the schedule for the second round will be published shortly.
BP and Delek Group-owned Ithaca Energy have started oil and gas production at the Vorlich field in Britain's central North Sea, the companies said on Thursday.
U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs this week, boosting the oil count for the fourth month in a row as producers return to the wellpad with crude prices mostly trading over $40 a barrel since mid June.
Check out the latest oil and gas drilling activity highlights across the U.S. featured in the November issue of E&P Plus including a Purple Sage Field-Wolfcamp well in New Mexico, a Haynesville Shale producer in Louisiana’s Sabine Parish and an Ascent Resources Utica Shale discovery.