APLA '13: Colombia's Ecopetrol evaluating shale gas, oil plays

18 November 2013 15:43 Source:ICIS News

CARTAGENA, Colombia (ICIS)--Colombia's Ecopetrol is evaluating their unconventional hydrocarbon potential to gauge the availability of raw materials for petrochemical feedstocks, a company executive said on Monday.

Ecopetrol is investigating the organic composition and types of hydrocarbon present in its unconventional shale gas and shale oil plays to assess the presence and quantities of raw material for petrochemical feedstocks, Edward Tovar Artunduaga, a vice president of exploration for Ecopetrol said during the general session of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

Shale gas with a high natural gas liquids (NGL) composition can contain methane, ethane, propane and butane, pentane, hexane and other gases, which can be used to produce basic chemicals like ethylene and propylene.

The state owned, publicly traded company said on 8 November that it will spend as much as $75bn (€56bn) by 2020 to lift oil and gas production to 1.3m bbl/day.

Colombia's oil production jumped 72% since 2007, allowing the nation to surpass Argentina to become the region's fourth-largest supplier after Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.

Ecopetrol's crude production averaged a record 800,400 barrels of oil equivalent/day in the third quarter this year, the company said in a financial filing.

The company's oil infrastructure has seen increased rebel attacks in recent months, including several on the Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline. There were 147 attacks on Colombia pipelines January-September 2013, an 18% increase from 2012, according to Colombia's Ministry of Defense.

The APLA conference ends on Tuesday.

($1 = €0.74)

By Leela Landress