Latin America has been producing oil for over 100 years and has produced over 150 billion barrels in that time. Currently production is 10.6 million bopd and 20 bcfgpd. After an introductory geological setting of the region, a very brief history of each country's production will be presented emphasizing the complicated relationship between IOCs and the large NOCs in the region. In addition, the sometimes dramatic positive and negative production consequences of government policies will be reviewed as a backdrop to the current situation.
Some countries have enjoyed a more stable fiscal environment than others, and Colombia, in particular has been producing oil for almost a century with an unbroken record of contract stability. Colombia has 8% of the regions oil production and less than 4% of the non-tar reserves. It produced around 720 mbopd and 1.1 bcfgd during 2010. The country has embarked on a set of policies to attract international oil companies and been rewarded with large numbers of concession awards and a high level of industry activity across the board. In addition, the recently privatized ex-state oil company, Ecopetrol, held a number of marginal field rounds and direct negotiations with IOCs over existing old fields which will be reviewed. These marginal field contracts after a rocky start have resulted in large increases of production in some very old fields but not in others.
Colombia has a large number of quite differing types of basin from the little explored Pacific fore-arc basins to the prolific sub-Andean basins such as the Llanos Basin. In spite of many surface hydrocarbon indications, only three of these basins contain substantial petroleum discoveries. All these basins remain of interest for exploration, with as one would expect, the more mature regions containing mostly lower but still profitable potential.
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800 Bell St., 43rd Floor
April 21, 2011, 11:30 a.m. - April 21, 2011, 1 p.m.