Business newspaper Portafolio reported that President Juan Manuel Santos said the government appointed six delegates of the National Planning Department (DNP) to decentralize this entity and establish direct contact with governors and mayors. The goal is to accelerate implementation of royalty-financed projects. The governors and mayors may think this is not enough.
Mauricio Cardenas, currently Finance Minister but until September 2012 Minister of Mines and Energy, closed the International Forum on Hydrocarbons 2013. He gave the finance department’s twist on the industry present and future and it gave the audience a somewhat different perspective. It was a generally positive speech, welcome in these difficult days.
Business magazine Dinero reports that the Comptroller General found irregularities in royalties’ resource management. According to a Comptroller’s report there are US$260Mn at risk in the Caribbean, Central East, Coffee Region, Llanos, Pacific and Central South regions, and projects from the National Royalty Fund in liquidation, for unfinished projects and for projects that do not work or have overruns.
In an interview with RCN Radio, MinHacienda Mauricio Cárdenas spoke of the need to increase oil reserves and the consequences of last year’s attacks against pipelines in the country. Cardenas said that considering there is enough oil in Colombia only for the next eight years, it is necessary to increase exploration; and this needs investment: “we need to explore properly: first, seismic activity. Then the expensive part of drilling wells, which can be worth US$30M, US$40M or US$50M.” He added that “this year Ecopetrol has US$10B, of which US$6B are for exploratory process. They are drilling more wells than at any time in their history. “
The Emir of Qatar visited Colombia last week and he and President Santos signed a number of agreements for intergovernmental cooperation. Although the agreements spanned a range of activities including sport, we found this press release on the MinMinas web page. Translated and with commentary by Hydrocarbons Colombia.
The National Hydrocarbons Agency seeks comments by Friday, February 22, 2013 on a proposed change to royalty payments for fields where payment in kind is difficult. They call such areas Difficult to Recover Production Fields (CPDR) and rather than payment in kind, operators are to pay in cash based on production and recent average pricing.
As reported by internet news site Vox Populi, Orlando Cabrales, president of the ANH, said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector increased by between 28% and 30% in 2012 compared to 2011 figures. While in 2011 there was FDI of US$5B, in 2012, according to projections by Fedesarrollo and the Central Bank, the FDI was between US$6.4B and US$6.5.
RCN Radio reports that in Meta department the resources from 2011 royalties were wasted. This was stated by the Comptroller General, who reported that in Puerto Gaitán US$13M was invested in aqueducts that currently do not work. In the report, the Comptroller said, “the fiscal findings are related to the uselessness, neglect, deterioration and lack of functioning of priority works for the community, that after their construction are not fulfilling the function for which they were planned” .
National newspaper El Tiempo reports that the government’s agenda has been slowed due to prior consultations with ethnic minorities. The lack of clarity in the process has suspended the progress of the rural development law, Mining Code reform, section 3 of the Ruta del Sol highway and the CARs (regional autonomous environmental authorities) reform, among other projects, until minorities approve them.