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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Colombia Oil Revenue Predicted to Drop by Half
Although the country has been able to ramp up production 12% in 2009, because of the fall in world oil prices, Colombia expects oil exports to bring in only half of last year's $12 billion.

BOGOTA – Colombia’s revenue from exports of crude and derivatives in 2009 will be roughly half last year’s total of $12 billion, the Colombian Oil Association, or ACP, forecast Thursday.

ACP President Alejandro Martinez said that, because of the “different scenario of international prices,” estimates are that exports will generate revenues of between $5.2 billion and $6.8 billion.

Oil prices are down approximately $100 from record highs last summer, prior to the onset of the global financial crisis.

The ACP forecast includes the 12 percent increase in oil production that the Colombian government has estimated for this year, when daily output is expected to average 660,000 barrels compared with 590,000 in 2008.

Martinez acknowledged in a conference call that the “scenario of low prices” per barrel of oil in 2009 will have an effect on budgets for investing in oil exploration and production.

“In Colombia, there may be a reduction of 11 percent,” said the president of the ACP, which comprises the private-sector oil companies operating in Colombia.

Although the number of seismic tests is projected to rise by 87 percent relative to last year, the ACP is expecting the number of exploratory wells drilled and the amount of wells under development to fall 14 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Martinez said lower international oil prices and the accompanying drop in export revenue also will lead to a sharp decline in the amount of money distributed to crude producing regions, such as the northeastern province of Arauca and the southern region of Putumayo.

“It’s an unfortunate situation that is independent of the decisions that the companies and authorities may take,” said Martinez, who estimated that funds distributed to the regions could fall to between $946,749 and $1.3 million.

The oil-producing regions received $2.01 million in the form of royalty payments last year. EFE
 

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