Two Major Oil Fields Discovered in Columbia

Joint-venture partners of Colombia's Ecopetrol have found two new oil fields in eastern and southern Colombia with reserves of about 100 million barrels each, according to reports.

The new fields, in the Casanare-Arauca area and near the upper River Magdalena, should start full production by about 2005. The discoveries are the biggest in Colombia since Petrobras, in partnership with Nexen and Ecopetrol, found the 130-million-barrel Guando field south of the capital Bogota in 2000.

Colombia's oil output was 633,528 barrels a day in December, down by 8.6 percent from the same month of 2000. One of the two new fields, which also holds natural gas, is already producing 2000 bpd, and the other is producing 500 bpd.