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Colombia oil production in further decline

15 Sep 2016 22:55 (+01:00 GMT)
Colombia oil production in further decline

Bogota, 15 September (Argus) — Colombia reported a dip in oil production for the eighth straight month in August amid stalled development drilling, blockades and transport restrictions.

Crude flows averaged 827,000 b/d in August, down 14.4pc from the same period last year and down 1.9pc from July, according to energy ministry data.

In the first eight months this year, production averaged 904,000 b/d, well below the finance ministry's target of 921,000 b/d for 2016.

Stagnant upstream investment will likely push 2016 output down further, according to Colombian oil chambers ACP and Campetrol.

ACP says it is "highly unlikely" that Colombia will be able to maintain 2017 oil production above 900,000 b/d, the output on which Colombia's government has planned for meeting its fiscal targets.

Colombia averaged 1.005mn b/d of production in 2015.

In August, a farmers strike in southwestern Colombia that lasted for 39 days impeded production from the Cohembi, Quinde and Platanillo crude fields around Puerto Asis municipality, Putumayo province, according to a regional government official.

The blockade was lifted on 4 September. US Vetra operates Cohembi and Quinde and UK Amerisur operates Platanillo.

Gran Tierra said production was affected at the Suroriente block where the company holds a 15.6pc interest. State-controlled Ecopetrol said its fields were relatively unaffected by the blockades.

Putumayo-based producers average around 40,000 b/d, approximately 4.8pc of August production.

Separately, a bridge collapse in Casanare province in August restricted movement of crude tanker trucks transporting Llanos basin crude from central Colombia to oil stations for movement to Coveñas port, ACP told Argus.

Ecopetrol's 220,000 b/d Caño Limon-Coveñas and 120,000 b/d Bicentenario pipelines in eastern Colombia were also out of service for 17 days in August from a rebel bombing.

Natural gas production averaged 949mn ft3/d (26.57mn m3/d) in August, down 0.2pc from the same month a year ago and down 3.3pc from July.

Gas production in the first eight months this year averaged 998mn ft3/d.