(Reuters) – Colombia’s majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol (ECO.CN) is looking at the possibility of restarting exploration at eight suspended oil and gas contracts, chief executive Ricardo Roa said on Wednesday.
The government of leftist President Gustavo Petro has prioritized weaning Colombia off of its dependence on oil and coal, major sources of income for the country, while also pushing a transition to renewable energy.
Though the government has said it will not sign new exploration contracts, it is looking to revive at least 21 suspended oil and gas deals. That tally includes three concessions belonging to Ecopetrol.
“They are eight (contracts) of those which have been suspended,” Roa told journalists in Bogota. “We are revising the possibility of reopening (exploration) in these contracts.
The company is looking at reviving seven contracts held by Ecopetrol and another by its wholly-owned subsidiary Hocol, a company spokesperson confirmed. The eight contracts are located in Colombia’s Casanare province.
Ecopetrol is working with the government on a framework for developing the blocks, Roa said, adding that the company could perhaps carry out exploration on contracts abandoned by other energy companies as well.