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"We're opening up our borders to a more interconnected market," says Boris Villa Gallo, gas manager at Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol.
The US$400mn import plant will have 348Mf3/d (9.85Mm3/d) capacity, and a 170,000m3 storage facility. It will be used during dry years for thermoelectric facilities.
"The facility will be important every four or five years when rains are scarce," Villa Gallo said during the 2nd BNamericas LatAm Oil & Gas Summit in Houston, Texas.
Colombia expects to receive gas imports from Venezuela starting in 2016. Today, Colombia sends about 200Mf3/d to Venezuela.
"Natural gas is growing in importance in Colombia and now represents 25% of the energy mix compared to 21% in 2005," he said.
The reserve-to-production ratio is down to 15 years, from 35 years in 2001. "But we see this as an opportunity to increase reserves or bring in gas."
Colombia has reserves of 6.4Tf3, 5.5Tf3 of which are proven.
"Next to Mexico, this is very small, but this is the challenge we have," he said.
Ecopetrol provides 50% of supply, with Chevron the next largest gas producer with 18% of supply. New players like Hocol and Repsol are expected to produce significant amounts in the country, according to Gallo.
BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.