Colombia targets 3 bln barrels of oil equivalent in new reserves by 2040

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View of the oil refinery Ecopetrol in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

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BOGOTA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Colombia will look to add 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to its hydrocarbon reserves by 2040, Armando Zamora, president of the national hydrocarbons agency (ANH), said on Friday.

The addition of these reserves will guarantee Colombia's energy self-sufficiency said Zamora, who spoke during the final day of a virtual forum hosted by the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP).

"We hope to strongly replace the current reserves by more or less 150%, which would add 3 billion barrels on the next 20 years," Zamora said.

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Colombia counts 6.3 years of proven oil reserves - just over 1.8 billion barrels as of Dec. 31 2020 - and 7.7 years of gas, according to the government.

Oil output this year is expected to average close to 770,000 barrels per day, according to the ministry of mines and energy.

As part of 'Plan 2040', Colombia hopes to award 200 blocks and see 800 wells drilled in the next 20 years, he added.

The target to develop 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent comes amid the "new reality" faced by the industry in the wake of the pandemic, he said.

"This is what we want now, given the new reality, given the new conditions, given the new knowledge we have, to launch that plan so that by 2040 we can maintain self-sufficiency and are able to develop other scenarios," Zamora said.

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Reporting by Oliver Griffin and Carlos Vargas Editing by Marguerita Choy

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