Following the first statement by Ricardo Roa, the recently inaugurated president of Ecopetrol, investors reacted to what appears to be a change of course by Colombia’s largest company. Oil company titles fell on both the Colombian stock market and Wall Street amid a pre-dividend period and an announcement that the country did not plan to sign new hydrocarbon exploration contracts.
“About exploration, we will accept the government’s guidelines that we do not have more exploration contracts than we already have. In Colombia we have about 50 contracts for the exploration of oil and gas”, these were the announcements of the Ecopetrol president to RCN radio.
As expected, this statement had an immediate effect on the dollar price in Colombia this Wednesday, registering an increase of almost 100 pesos between the end of the previous day and the opening of talks on April 26. This is especially because, according to experts, the hydrocarbon sector is one of the most sensitive sectors to this type of announcement, as it generates negative expectations about the company’s future profits.
In this regard, NoticiasRCN.com consulted how the country’s oil sector receives these statements amid a situation of falling crude oil prices worldwide. In this regard, Nelson Castañeda, Executive President of the Colombian Chamber of Oil, Gas and Energy Goods and Services (Campetrol), highlighted the challenges facing the sector.
“At Camptrol we believe that the energy transition should be a gradual and safe process,” said Castañeda.
Nelson Castañeda: Strengthening government, industry, and regional relationships is essential to creating synergies that positively impact the macroeconomic stability of bridging the gap, promoting the well-being of communities, as well as the country’s competitiveness and energy sovereignty.
In this sense, we see an opportunity for the industry with the appointment of Dr. Ricardo Roa as the new President of Ecopetrol, because of his leadership and experience.
Nelson Castañeda: Here are the five most important challenges facing the industry at the moment:
- Achieve an orderly energy transition while guaranteeing the well-being of communities, the country’s macroeconomic stability, and energy sovereignty.
- Secondly, to boost the competitiveness of the field to meet the target of one million barrels equivalent, which implies the development of technologies and strategies to promote the development of the field.
- The third is to promote channels for social dialogue in oil fields where conflict has escalated, such as Arauca, Santander, Putumayo, Caqueta, and Meta. Conditions that in the past months caused a reduction in oil production by 16,000 barrels per day, which directly affected the country’s financial situation.
- Also, promoting research, investment, and technology so that companies in the region innovate and move towards renewable energy sources.
- Ultimately, pursue the goal of maintaining and maximizing the more than 100,000 direct jobs and more than 550,000 indirect jobs that depend on this industry.
Likewise, Castañeda highlighted the desire of the union and more than 150 companies affiliated with Campetrol that provide goods and services in the hydrocarbon sector to work together with Ecopetrol.
Preliminary oil production during the first quarter of the year showed a positive balance, registering 767.5 thousand barrels of oil per day (BPD), equivalent to an increase of 3.2% compared to the same period in 2022, according to the most recent drilling and Production report presented by Campetrol.
The data, according to the association, are mainly explained by an increase in oil production in Meta, specifically in the Cano Sur region, located in the municipality of Puerto Gaitan.