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Ecopetrol Reviewing Options to Import Gas as Supply Drops – Bloomberg

Colombia’s natural gas needs are set to surpass supply in 2025. Low Emissions Vice President Riaño speaks in interview
Colombia’s natural gas needs are set to surpass supply in 2025. Low Emissions Vice President Riaño speaks in interview (Ecopetrol)

Andrea Jaramillo, Bloomberg News

Energiesnet.com 03 11 2024

Ecopetrol SA is analyzing different options to import natural gas while wells in Colombia’s Caribbean waters begin producing the fuel, a company official said.

The state-owned oil producer is forecasting that supply will fall short of daily demand by an average of 17% by the start of next year. The gap will need to be met with imports while deep water deposits come online between 2027 and 2029, said David Riaño, Ecopetrol’s Low Emissions Vice President.

“While the offshore is developed, we need to meet growing demand” for natural gas, Riaño said in an interview on the sidelines of an energy conference in Cartagena.David RiañoSource: Ecopetrol

The uncertainty of Colombia’s natural gas self sufficiency takes place amid President Gustavo Petro’s push to move the economy away from fossil fuels.

Last month, Ecopetrol said that the Orca-1 natural gas deposit in which officials were counting on to shore up the nation’s dwindling reserves was significantly smaller than initially estimated. It’s now set to begin drilling the offshore Uchuva-2 well in May, which it jointly owns with Brazil’s Petrobras.

The Andean nation is exploring all available options that allow it to bring the fuel from abroad at competitive prices, Riaño said, which includes imports from Venezuela seen starting next year.

For that to happen though, significant repairs are needed on the 224-kilometer (139-mile) pipeline connecting the two nations, which is owned by Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

Ecopetrol is accompanying PDVSA in identifying repair needs, he said. While the existing contract allows the nation to import around 200 million cubic feet of gas a day, Ecopetrol is expecting some 60 million cubic feet a day, depending on gas availability, Riaño added. Total daily average demand in Colombia is close to 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

Read Also: Damaged Pipeline Threatens to Stall Colombia Plan to Import Gas

While Colombia already has a private liquefied natural gas port in Cartagena, known as SPEC, Ecopetrol is reviewing other alternatives in the Caribbean to import LNG.

Riaño said one option is the Chuchupa natural gas well near the coast of La Guajira province where it already has a platform, declining to go further into details citing confidentiality agreements. He also said the company is analyzing whether to invest in a small-scale LNG port in Buenaventura, in Colombia’s Pacific coast.

bloomberg.com 03 08 2024

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