Minister: Ecopetrol to Invest US$12.5bn Over 5 Years

Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol aims to invest US$12.5bn in the next five years in order to produce 500,000b/d oil by 2011, mining and energy minister Hernan Martínez Torres said.

The investment would go toward "reaching its strategic goals of increasing its own production from some 300,000b/d to 500,000b/d in 2011," said the minister, who was speaking at the 2nd Colombia Oil and Gas Investment Conference in the coastal city of Cartagena.

Total production in Colombia currently stands at roughly 530,000b/d.

Meanwhile, hydrocarbons agency ANH will launch on Wednesday the bidding round for the 27 hydrocarbons blocks off the country's Caribbean coast, Martinez Torres said. The offshore blocks average 138,000ha each.

"It's a good prospective area for gas and oil that has attracted the interest of various international companies," he said.

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