With the India-Colombia bilateral trade $1.5 bn, India lifted oil close to $ 400 million from January to July this year- an increase of 60% in the same period of the previous year. Speaking to FE ONLINE, on condition of anonymity, a very senior diplomat said that, \u201cAs US imports of Colombian and of other origin continue to decline, impending sanctions on Iran next month, supply constraints of OPEC, India is expected to look at other markets.\u201d \u201cImports of oil from Colombia and Ecuador will go up substantially in the coming months,\u201d the senior diplomat added. India has been looking at other countries for its energy security due to impending second round of US sanctions in November targeting Iran's energy sector, and political unrest in South American nation Venezuela. India has been gradually planning to increase the crude imports from Latin American nations to 50% over the next few years, sources confirmed to FE ONLINE. There are four areas of cooperation in the oil sector identified by oil companies of both countries which cover: \u00a0exploration and production of oil; activities of refining, processing and purification of hydrocarbons; and looking for more oil in the country. ONGC Videsh has operations in the Llanos field in Colombia\u2019s Orinoco and explored five wells. The same company owns 50% of the Mansarovar, in a joint venture with the Chinese company Sinopec, in the region of Magdalena Medio. During the last week\u2019s visit of Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen VK Singh (Retd) to Colombia, it was decided that the Joint Study for negotiating Partial Scope Agreement to enhance bilateral trade will be finalised soon between the two countries. The two countries are seeking for expansion of bilateral trade and investment in areas including IT, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, agriculture, urban planning & development, and Start ups. India and Colombia in 2019 will be celebrating 60 years of establishment of diplomatic relations and decided that this historic milestone be celebrated in a befitting manner. As reported by\u00a0FE\u00a0earlier, ONGC Videsh has discovered hydrocarbon reserves in its Mariposa-1 well, which is under drilling in CPO-5 block of Colombia. Also, Ecuador has inked a confidentiality agreement with ONGC Videsh and has been in discussion about the new blocks available in that country. The Indian company which is already present in Colombia is exploring the possibility of expanding their footprints in Ecuador and has been looking at buying a stake in oil fields there. ONGC is looking for fields with a minimum 25,000 barrels per day of oil production.