A recent energy profile of South America has shown that Colombia has grown even more important as an energy producer: Colombia has shown a drastic increase in natural gas, oil and coal production, which experts attribute to a variety of regulatory reforms that were implemented in 2003.
According to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Colombia used 1.545 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) worth of energy in the year 2012. Of this energy, 40 percent was used for oil consumption. This category was closely followed by natural gas, coal and hydroelectricity. Colombia uses hydropower for most of its electricity, and domestically speaking the nation uses small amounts of coal; in 2013, Colombia exported 87 percent of the 94.2-million short tons of its produced coal. Colombia’s natural gas consumption has increased by 54 percent in the past ten years.
In recent years, Colombia’s importance as an energy producer has continued to rise throughout the Western Hemisphere. As of today, the nation is the third-biggest oil producer in Latin America. It is also the seventh-biggest crude exporter for the U.S. In addition, Colombia is the biggest coal producer based in South America.
The regulatory reforms served to make its natural gas and oil sector more appeal for foreign investors. This has added a rise to production in Colombia. The government’s partial privatization of Ecopetrol, a state oil company previously named Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos S.A., was also an effort to recuperate the country’s upstream oil industry.
Unfortunately, in 2014 alone, an increase in oil and natural gas pipelines disrupted oil supplies by approximately 45,000 barrels per day. This occurred after approximately five years of secure operations; now, additional oil production requires improvements in infrastructure and reserves discoveries to recover.
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