Colombia Surpasses Venezuela in Oil Production

Amid the much-publicized decline of Venezuela's oil industry, Colombia has overtaken its neighbor in terms of production.

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Colombia’s oil industry is booming, thanks to exploration of new sites (Presidencia).

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia reported that oil production increased 3.3% for the month of May, compared to the same month in 2018. The statistic is mainly a reflection of boosted output in the north and east of the country; specifically in the municipalities of Puerto Gaitán and Acacías in Meta state, southwest of Bogota; Arauquita, in Arauca state, on the border with Venezuela, and Cantagallo, on the banks of the Magdalena River in Bolívar state.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Venezuela, the country reported a decline in oil production. The monthly report published in Vienna by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) confirmed this information, noting that the state oil company PDVSA has reduced its output to a mere 35,000 barrels per day. That is, PDVSA is already producing less than half of its output from 2017. For this reason, the price of Venezuelan oil was dropping for the fourth consecutive week.

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The oil currently produced in Venezuela is sold in the markets at USD $55.82 per barrel, that is USD $6.03 less than the previous week when the barrel was quoted at USD $61.85. The lag in production has gone hand in hand with sanctions imposed in 2017 by the United States against some officials of the regime of Nicolás Maduro. For this reason, the Chavista dictatorship has opted to stop using the dollar as an exchange currency and is offering the price of its oil based on the Chinese currency.

On the other hand, the Colombian government increased the volume of fuel distributed in the border department of Norte de Santander. Around 1,470,000 additional gallons were destined for consumption for the remainder of the month of June. This action aims to address an increase in demand, which has been caused by further controls on contraband fuel crossing the border, as well as the critical situation with fuel shortages in Venezuela.

For Colombia, the month of May was significant, given that it is the second month of the year which saw its highest oil production in 2019, in addition to January, which saw production of 898,965 barrels. In total, Colombia saw an increase of 4.47% in relation to the first five months of 2018.

Commercial gas output has grown 10%.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy also highlighted the good news about commercial gas production, as the seek to provide greater supply and develop new energy sources. Production has grown 10% between January and May of this year.

Production has averaged 1,040 million cubic feet per day (mpcd), in comparison with the same period in 2018, which represents an increase of 10.5%, when production clocked in at 941 mpcd.

“What you see is a sustained increase in the demand for gas in the country, a fundamental fuel for the energy transition. The use of natural vehicle gas, for example, reduces pollution in the environment, producing about 40% less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than those generated by a diesel-powered vehicles, and represents a 100% reduction in particulate material,” explained the Minister, María Fernanda Suárez.

In the country, according to the data of this ministry, about 9.5 million families, commercial and industrial establishments supply their energy needs with natural gas. Added to this, on roads there are 230,000 light vehicles and 1,000 public transport, trucks, tippers and garbage collectors that use this energy source.

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