By ANDREW WILLIS
BOGOTA (Bloomberg) -- Colombia is planning
to build a new pipeline to export oil via its Pacific coast to
Asia, as increased production from United States shale fields
forces South Americas third-biggest crude producer to
seek new markets.
Theres a re-figuration of the international
energy market, especially with what is happening in the United
States, Colombia Mines and Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta
said in an interview in his Bogota office. Colombia is
almost the only country in Latin America where oil exports to
the United States havent declined. But it is foreseeable
that it will happen in the future.
China and India represent important growth
markets, with Colombia planing to connect its Cano Limon
pipeline with Venezuelas Guafita in the short term, and
build a separate pipeline to the Pacific coast in the medium to
long term, Acosta said. The route of the new pipeline is being
The majority of Colombian oil is currently exported through
the Caribbean port of Covenas, according to the website of
Ecopetrol. From a security perspective, Colombia
cant keep relying on a single port for oil exports,
Acosta said. We must have alternatives, and this would be
via the Pacific.
Plans announced in October for a joint venture between
Ecopetrol and Petroleos de Venezuela, to develop mature fields
in Venezuela will go ahead, helping Ecopetrol increase reserves
using its expertise in secondary oil recovery, Acosta said.