Colombian state-owned oil major Ecopetrol has revealed its plans to invest $3.5-4bn in 2018, aimed at boosting its reserves and hydrocarbon production.
The company is looking to have a production of 715,000 to 725,000 barrels of petroleum-equivalent per day in 2018.
In this regard, it has upped its investment by 35-55% compared to the amount it has allotted for the current year.
Ecopetrol said: “After two years of a successful transformation plan focused on cost reduction and capital discipline, the 2018 plan approved by the Board of Directors is aimed at increasing reserves and hydrocarbon production, capturing earnings through an improved international environment for the sector, and advancing along the path of efficiency.”
The oil firm will use 96% of the investment for its operations in Colombia. The remainder part will be allocated to group's projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Brazil and Peru.
Ecopetrol has allocated 85% of its 2018 investment for the exploration and production segments, which reflects an increase by over $1bn compared to the amount spent on them in the current year.
It says that the investments will enable it to continue its path of production growth, which is banked on about 20 pilot projects to execute improved recovery technologies.
For 2018, the company plans to drill more than 620 development wells and a minimum of 12 exploratory wells with 28 rigs. This would mark an increase of around 140 wells and the use of 16 more rigs compared to the present year.
Ecopetrol also aims to acquire over 41,000km of seismic in 2018.
The company expects to fund its investment plan using its internal cash generation. As of now, it believes that it would not have to access financing sources to meet its investment plan.
Earlier this week, the Colombian firm had secured rights to explore hydrocarbon resources in four deepwater blocks in the US Gulf of Mexico. Ecopetrol, through its subsidiary Ecopetrol America will partner with Spanish energy company Repsol to develop the blocks.
Image: Ecopetrol has allocated 85% of its 2018 investment for exploration and production.