TOGY talks to
Foreign player, local rootsMay 8, 2017
TOGY talks to Ian Gollop, CEO of PetroSantander Colombia, about developing Colombia’s brownfield projects to maximise the energy industry’s contribution to Colombia’s economy.
Established in the country in 1995, the Houston-based Canadian E&P company specialises in mature fields. Its Colombia operations are focused in the Middle Magdalena valley.
• On mature fields: If [Ecopetrol] allows smaller companies to buy or develop these [mature] fields, the country would be better off due to more royalties, taxes and production.
• On communities: It is vital for companies to establish a direct relationship with local communities. It is essential to have a good relationship in order to develop win-win projects while operating without interruption.
Gollop also discusses recent improvements in the technology available in Colombia, and the positive effect it has had on the hydrocarbons industry there. Gollop argues for a good working relationship with communities and local government, not only for well-run oil and gas projects but for the long-term development of the country. Most TOGY interviews are published exclusively on our business intelligence platform TOGYiN, but you can find the full interview with Ian Gollop below.
What kind of opportunities does the Colombian market offer?
The biggest opportunity is the amount of mature fields in the country. Ecopetrol is selling the smaller fields in its portfolio to focus more of its resources on the largest fields and developing offshore exploration. Bigger companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon[Mobil] sold their smaller fields a long time ago.
Ecopetrol has a great portfolio of mature fields, but it is not investing sufficient time or money in them. If it allows smaller companies to buy or develop these fields, the country would be better off due to more royalties, taxes and production. For large companies, it is not beneficial to maintain smaller fields. However, such fields can be incredibly lucrative to smaller players. Investing in brownfield development has been growing for the past 20 years.
How receptive is Colombia’s hydrocarbons industry to new technology?
In terms of new technologies, subsurface technology has been highlighted by many but the installation of new monitoring systems has been very useful. It centralises control and makes operations more efficient. Companies that are looking to cut costs are exploring these types of changes. Another game changer is the cost of security cameras. The drop in the price of this technology has made it more accessible and feasible for companies to install and use. Implementation leads to significant improvement in both security, theft reduction and safety.
How can companies create a mutually beneficial relationship with local communities?
It is vital for companies to establish a direct relationship with local communities. It is essential to have a good relationship in order to develop win-win projects while operating without interruption. The ideal way to solve local social issues is to discuss problems and issues directly with these communities. Companies should talk to local leaders and develop beneficial long-term programmes.
The population is growing. There are many investments in small, short-term projects. However, PetroSantander jointly with local and national government has taken the long-term approach. These communities are in need of water, electricity and gas and better communication. Once these basic necessities are in place, we can start talking about micro-industries. This approach will generate more jobs, which can eventually provide enough work for all families in areas where oil and gas projects are currently the only source of employment.
For more information on PetroSantander in Colombia, and other related companies across the oil and gas value chain, see our business intelligence platform, TOGYiN.
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- From the field