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Colombia's state-owned oil company Ecopetrol is planning to invest nearly $10.6 billion over the next 12 months, with the bulk of this allocated to exploration and production, the company announced.
The sum represents an 11-percent hike in the investment budget on 2013, Ecopetrol said. The increase will be used to add more crude oil reserves to the company's portfolio and to fund the drilling of 20 new exploratory wells, most of which will be located onshore. The company also stated that its two main refineries will undergo upgrades in 2014. Overall, some $6.47 billion will be invested in company projects, while a further $4.13 billion will go to subsidiary operations.
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According to the breakdown of figures, Ecopetrol will spend $928 million on exploration activities, $4.65 billion on production, $339 million on downstream operations and $309 million on extra activities, including information technology. Downstream projects planned for next year include a modernization of the Barrancabermeja refinery, with about a quarter of the funds allocated to this segment set aside for the Barrancabermeja project.
In 2014 the company expects to be producing an average of 770,000 barrels of oil equivalent domestically and a total of 819,000 barrels per day when subsidiary production is factored in. Colombia produces about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, so Ecopetrol accounts for the vast majority of the country's oil production, Reuters reported.