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Today in Energy

July 14, 2011

Colombia's oil production at highest level since 1999

graph of Colombia's oil production, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook
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Colombia's oil production set a new record in May 2011, reaching an average output of 927 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d). Average annual production increased by more than 30% between 2005 and 2010. EIA expects Colombia's production to continue growing in the near future. The June 2011 Short-Term Energy Outlook projects average annual production to increase from 800 thousand bbl/d in 2010 to 910 thousand bbl/d in 2011 and 980 thousand bbl/d in 2012.

Two factors primarily contributed to Colombia's expanded production:

  • Improved Security: Colombia reported only 31 attacks against pipelines in 2010 compared with hundreds of such incidents that occurred per year in the early 2000s.
  • Regulatory Changes: Since 1999, the Colombian government has sought to improve the investment climate. Foreign direct investment has improved due to longer exploration licenses, lower royalty rates, and expanded opportunities for private companies to operate oil ventures.

In 2010, Colombia exported 504 thousand bbl/d of its oil production, with 365 thousand bbl/d going to the United States. Imports from Colombia helped offset declines in U.S. imports from Mexico and Venezuela. EIA's recently released Country Analysis Brief for Colombia features additional analysis on these trends, along with a broad discussion of Colombia's energy sector.