Colombia - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Equipment
Last published date:


Table: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Equipment Overview  





Total Local Production




Total Exports




Total Imports




Imports from the U.S.




Total Market Size




[total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports]
Units: USD millions
Source: World Trade Atlas; Industry Associations, Campetrol 

The oil and gas sector is key to Colombia’s national revenue. It accounts for about 10 percent of GDP and 20 percent of exports. Although private foreign investment is allowed, all the country’s refineries are 100 percent owned and operated by Ecopetrol, Colombia’s national oil company. The company also operates approximately 64 percent of the country’s total oil and gas production. The remaining share is primarily made up of smaller independent producers, of which Canada-based Frontera Energy (formerly Pacific E&P), UK-based GeoPark Holdings, and The Carlyle Group (who acquired U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum’s onshore portfolio) have the most share. The latest onshore bidding rounds in 2021 attracted six companies, including several new firms to the market, and the government awarded 30 contracts. On the natural gas market, the largest private company operating in this sector was Chevron, which produces via its Guajira association contract alongside Ecopetrol. The second largest producer is Equion Energy, which is a subsidiary of Ecopetrol and Talisman Energy.

The government’s role is largely reserved for regulating oil and gas developments of private investors in the sector, through a joint venture (JV) or individual companies who are permitted to explore and produce hydrocarbons within Colombia. The company or entity must be registered with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinEnergy) as an exploration and production company to participate in the domestic market.

There are still several hurdles from municipalities opposing extractive industry activities, extensive timelines for environmental licensing, and ongoing attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure from insurgency groups like the National Liberation Army of Colombia (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN). Operating companies also have high production costs and face relatively high taxes. 

During 2022, Colombia reached an average production rate of 753,750 barrels per day, an increase from 2021 which was 736,400 barrels per day, corresponding to a 2.4 percent increase. Furthermore, average natural gas production reached 1.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2022 with Ecopetrol and its subsidiary Hocol leading production, but it decreased in comparison to 2021 which was 1.8 billion cubic feet per day.

In several events and interviews, President Gustavo Petro announced that he will not sign new contracts for oil and gas exploration (licenses). The Minister of Mines and Energy, Irene Velez, affirmed this decision at the World Economic Forum, which took place in Davos, Switzerland in January 2023. She stated that it is the country’s commitment to the fight against climate change and continue with the energy transition projects.

In November 2022, Ecopetrol announced that it will not continue to carry out its hydraulic fracturing pilot projects at Kalé and Platero blocks in Santander, and they suspended the contract they had signed with ExxonMobil.

According to Fitch Solutions Macro Research, at the current rate of production (around 700,000b/d), Colombia has sufficient crude oil reserves only for 6.3 years of production. A similar picture emerges for gas, which has only 7.7 years of production in reserves. Vast parts of the country, particularly offshore in the Caribbean blocks, remain underexplored, meaning new hydrocarbon resources may still be discovered in the coming years.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Seismic activity services (two and three-dimensional)
  • Drilling equipment (including directional drilling) and drilling fluids
  • Wellhead equipment (Christmas trees, valves, compressors, pumps, piping equipment, safety equipment, well completion, casing, and cementing equipment)
  • Improved production stimulation and artificial lift systems
  • Enhanced oil recovery for selected fields
  • Crude oil and natural gas pipeline design and construction services
  • Filtering or purifying machinery


The Government of Colombia (GoC) is committed to decarbonizing Colombia’s energy matrix by transitioning from liquid fuels to natural gas and electricity as the primary energy sources for the transportation, industrial, and residential sectors. Colombia’s limited reserves and decline in production might lead to increased imports of natural gas in the coming years. Opportunities may arise for U.S. exporters of natural gas.

The GoC announced a tender to develop a second LNG import facility in Buenaventura on the Pacific coast. Additional pipeline infrastructure is also needed. The Buenaventura tender has been delayed several times as the government works to structure incentives.

Ecopetrol has its own supplier management system. Companies interested in becoming a supplier need to register with Ariba (formerly SIPROE), the company’s supplier management and registration platform.

At COP26 in November 2021, Colombia joined the Global Methane Pledge and in February 2022 signed a resolution (resolution 40066) to reduce methane in the hydrocarbon sector. The goal is to reduce emissions by 11.2 tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030. The resolution establishes the technical requirements for the detection and repair of leaks, burning, and venting of natural gas. In addition, it seeks to reduce the waste of natural gas, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For the implementation of this resolution, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) published its rules for the delivery and reporting by companies of the Natural Gas Leak Detection and Repair Program in 2022. This program will offer opportunities for U.S. exporters of methane reduction technologies within the hydrocarbon sector.

Trade Event

V Cumbre de Petróleo y Gas (V Oil and Gas Summit)

October 24-26, 2023 

Cartagena de Indias Convention Center

Cartagena, Colombia

For additional information, including market analysis, trade events, and the products and services that the U.S. Commercial Service can provide to help you succeed in the Colombian market, please contact:

U.S. Embassy Bogota

Norcia Ward Commercial Specialist

+57 601 275-2703