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Colombia’s Ecopetrol talks with Enbridge to build Pacific export pipeline

12.09.2013  | 

Colombia, through its state-run Ecopetrol, is seeking new markets in Asia as production increases and the United States shale energy revolution threatens to slow demand from North America.

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By ANDREW WILLIS & JEREMY VAN LOON
Bloomberg

Colombia's state-controlled oil producer Ecopetrol is in talks with Enbridge to build an oil pipeline to the Pacific coast.

“There have been initial conversations with Enbridge and other companies to look at the different alternatives to build this pipeline,” Ecopetrol spokesman Mauricio Tellez said in a telephone interview. “It’s vital for all the production that’s increasing in the Llanos Orientales to have an exit via the Pacific.”

Colombia is seeking new markets in Asia as production increases and the United States shale energy revolution threatens to slow demand from North America.

Talks started several months ago and are being led by Ecopetrol’s transport subsidiary Cenit, Tellez said. Enbridge said it’s discussing the possibilities and requirements for the pipeline with the Colombian government and refiners.

They are in “very early stages,” Graham White, an Enbridge spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “There are no construction dates, formal proposals or time-lines.”

China and India represent important growth markets for Colombian oil exports as the United States becomes more energy independent, Colombia Mines and Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta said in a November 18 interview in his Bogota office. The majority of Colombian oil is currently exported through the Caribbean port of Covenas, according to Ecopetrol’s website.

“There’s a re-figuration of the international energy market,” Acosta said. “From a security perspective, Colombia can’t keep relying on a single port for oil exports.”



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