New perspectives of Colombian Ecopetrol

Investments in the oil and gas sector of Colombia will grow steadily in 2023, despite concerns about the growth of social unrest and political risks, a study by BNamericas showed, on March 24, a note with conclusions published on the publication’s website.

Journalists noted that the six largest Colombian companies allocated 7.16 billion US dollars for capital expenditures in 2023, compared with 6.05 billion US dollars in 2022.

The increase in expenses is mainly due to the state-owned company Ecopetrol, which set an average benchmark of $5.7 billion compared to $4.54 billion of realized expenses last year.

“We will monitor what happens, but the good news is that we are agile and can adapt,” retiring CEO Felipe Bayon told investors earlier.

GeoPark and Frontera also expect to increase spending in 2023; the former allocates about $210 million compared to $169 million in 2022, and the latter allocates $420 million (midpoint) compared to $418 million last year.

The trends are contradicted by the shares of Canacol (151 million US dollars compared to about 174 million US dollars), Gran Tierra (230 million US dollars in the middle of the forecast compared to 237 million US dollars) and Parex (450 million US dollars compared to 513 million US dollars).

In a report published in February, the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP) reported that 60% of the country’s investments in oil and gas exploration will be directed to natural gas production projects, especially on the Caribbean coast.

According to the Colombian Chamber of Petroleum Products and Services Campetrol, the number of operating drilling rigs in Colombia in February decreased to 142 compared with 149 in January and a 12-month high of 156 in September last year. This figure is expected to fall to 137 in March, 135 in April and 133 in May.

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