Essar Oil in talks to enter Colombia

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 28 2011, 07:25am hrs
Essar Oil has initiated talks for foraying into Colombia. Talking to FE, Juan Alfredo Pinto, ambassador of Colombia in New Delhi, said, Officials from Essar Oil will be visiting Bogota to explore petroleum extraction opportunities in the country.

Colombia has a lot of oil and gas and most of the foreign investment is in this sector only. There are plenty of Blue Ocean opportunities for the Indian suppliers, the Colombian envoy added. Speaking on its plans to go to Colombia, Essar Oil officials said, We keep looking at opportunities across the globe. It is not our policy to comment on any specific proposal.

Indian companies can participate in the $3.7-billion expansion project of the oil refinery in Cartagena. Also, the refinery in the eastern city of Barrancabermeja is being modernised with an investment of $3 billion.

Essar Oil managing director Naresh Nayyar, while announcing the results earlier this month, had said the company is planning to go to Latin America. Essar Oil had earlier announced that it will step up crude oil imports from Latin America as its seeks to add 43% capacity to the Vadinar refinery by September 2012. The two countries had signed an agreement in 2008 for expanding Indias role in exploration and production efforts of Colombia.

The eagerness to do business with India is indicative of a new, more open way of doing business in Colombia, Pinto said. Colombia has about 1.6 billion barrels of proven hydrocarbon reserves. Last year, 53 small oil and gas deposits were discovered. The current rate of hydrocarbon production is more than 730,000 barrels per day and is expected to increase to more than 800,000 bpd over the year.