Colombia expands its natural gas exports

Colombia has approved the export of natural gas to Panama and other countries in the Caribbean, expanding an export market that had been limited to Venezuela in order to ensure domestic supply. This change will likely benefit state-run oil company Ecopetrol, Chevron Corp, Canada’s Pacific Rubiales and Colombia’s Equion Energia Ltd. The new law is aimed at encouraging companies to increase exploration for reserves and invest in liquefaction and pipeline infrastructure. Previously, Colombia’s natural gas industry had only been allowed to export 200 million cu/ft per day to neighboring Venezuela. Exports to Venezuela will continue under the new rules. The newly approved exports would continue only as long as there was at least eight years’ worth of natural gas available domestically. There are currently 15 years of proven and probable reserves.

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