Ecopetrol to Spend $2B in 2007 on Exploration

Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol plans to invest US$2bn in 2007 to explore new hydrocarbons reserves, government news service SNE reported.

Ecopetrol will have spent some US$1.3bn in 2006, the report said. Colombia's oil production will be 520,000b/d in 2007. Ecopetrol and other companies must invest to sustain that level of production in the future, finance minister Alberto Carrasquilla was quoted as saying.

The investment is needed to recover the country's proven reserves that topped 3Bb in years back, dropped to 1.5Bb in 2004, remained constant in 2005 and increased a bit this year, Carrasquilla said.

Ecopetrol aims to invest US$12.5bn over the next five years to sustain the country's output levels, BNamericas previously reported.

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