U.S. Energy Information Administration –
COLOMBIA COUNTRY ANALYSIS BRIEF RELEASED — March 24, 2010
Colombia is an important petroleum and coal exporter.
Colombia has seen an increase in oil production in recent years following a period of steady decline. The Colombian government has enacted a series of regulatory reforms to make the sector more attractive to foreign investors. In addition, it has implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry. The security situation in the country has also improved, with few attacks against oil and natural gas infrastructure in recent years.
In 2007, Colombia consumed 1.3 quadrillion Btus of total energy. Oil constituted the largest part of this amount, followed by hydroelectricity. Colombia is a large producer of coal, but, because Colombia relies upon hydropower for the bulk of its electricity needs, it is able to export almost all of its coal production.
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Colombia’s oil production has increased in the past few years, following a period of steep decline.
According to Oil and Gas Journal (O&GJ), Colombia had 1.36 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves in 2010, the fifth-largest in South America. The country produced an estimated 680,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil in 2009, up from 600,000 bbl/d in 2008. With oil consumption reaching an estimated 282,000 bbl/d in 2008, Colombia exports about half of its oil production, with much of this going to the United States. . . .
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Colombia is self-sufficient in natural gas and recently began exports to neighboring Venezuela .
According to OGJ, Colombia had proven natural gas reserves of 3.96 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2010. The country produced 318 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of dry natural gas in 2008, while consuming 265 Bcf. A large portion of the country’s gross natural gas production (43 percent in 2008) is re-injected to aid in enhanced oil recovery. Colombia has natural gas reserves spread across 18 basins, seven of which have active production. The bulk of Colombia’s natural gas reserves are located in the Llanos basin, although the Guajira basin accounts for the majority of current production. Similar to the oil sector, natural gas production has risen substantially in the last few years, owning to greater investment at existing fields, rising domestic consumption, and new export opportunities. . . .
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Colombia is one of the world’s largest coal exporters.
According to the World Energy Council, Colombia had 6,814 million short tons (MMst) of recoverable coal reserves in 2007, consisting largely of bituminous coal and a small amount of metallurgical coal. The country has the second-largest coal reserves in South America, slightly behind Brazil, with most of those reserves concentrated in the Guajira peninsula in the north and the Andean foothills. Colombia’s coal is relatively clean-burning, with a sulfur content of less than 1 percent. Over the past decade, production has more than doubled, reaching 86.7 MMst in 2008. It is likely that Colombia’s coal production will continue to increase in coming years, as exploration and profitable developments continue throughout the north and interior of the country. Colombia’s coal consumption was only 5.2 MMst in 2008, leaving most of the country’s production available for export; in 2008, Colombia was the fourth-largest net coal exporter in the world. . . .
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Proven Oil Reserves (January 1, 2010E)
1.36 billion barrels
Oil Production (2009E)
680 thousand barrels per day
Oil Consumption (2008E)
282 thousand barrels per day
Crude Oil Distillation Capacity (2009E)
286 thousand barrels per day
Proven Natural Gas Reserves (January 1, 2010E)
3.96 trillion cubic feet
Natural Gas Production (2008E)
318 billion cubic feet
Natural Gas Consumption (2008E)
265 billion cubic feet
Recoverable Coal Reserves (2007E)
6,814 million short tons
Coal Production (2008E)
86.7 million short tons
Coal Consumption (2008E)
5.2 million short tons
Electricity Installed Capacity (2007E)
Electricity Production (2007E)
50.6 billion kilowatthours
Electricity Consumption (2007E)
30.6 billion kilowatthours
Total Energy Consumption (2007E)
1.35 quadrillion Btu
Total Per Capita Energy Consumption (2007E)
31.6 million Btu
Energy Intensity (2007E)
4,696 Btu per 2005$
Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions (2008E)
65.1 million metric tons
Per-Capita, Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions (2008E)
1.51 metric tons
Carbon Dioxide Intensity (2008E)
0.22 metric tons per 2005$
Oil and Gas Industry
Mostly privatized and open to foreign investors. State-controlled Ecopetrol plays an important role in the sector.
Major Oil/Gas Ports
Tumaco, Cartagena, Covenas
Foreign Company Involvement
BP, Occidental, ChevronTexaco
Major Oil Fields
Cupiagua/Cusiana; Cano Limon, Suroriente, Guando.
Major Natural Gas Fields
Chuchupa, Ricohacha, Ballena, Cupiagua, Cusiana.
Ocensa, Cano Limon pipeline, Alto Magdalena, Colombia Oil, TransAndino, Mariquita-Cali, Ballena-Barrancabermeja, Barrancabermeja-Neiva-Bogota
Major Refineries (capacity, bbl/d)
Barrancabermeja – Santander (205,000 bbl/d), Cartegena (75,000 bbl/d); Apiay (2,250 bbl/d), Orito (1,800 bbl/d), and Tibu (1,800 bbl/d)
* The total energy consumption statistic includes petroleum, dry natural gas, coal, net hydro, nuclear, geothermal, solar, wind, wood and waste electric power.
**GDP figures from Global Insight estimates based on purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates.