equivalent per day by 2020, from current
levels of about 770,000 per day,” says Mr.
Corbett, adding that a growing number of
exploratory projects are o;shore. “Colombia
has a successful oil industry, but most of it
has been onshore. ;ere are several wells
being drilled over the next two years that
are set to signi;cantly expand the o;shore
O;shore, the most signi;cant risk fac-
ing oil and gas projects is the lack of an
existing o;shore industry, including equip-
ment, personnel and established regula-
tions. Onshore, it’s FARC attacks, which are
virtually nonexistent in population centers
but still occur in remote areas where drilling takes place.
Still, the outlook remains strong. Bolstered by government
reforms enacted over the past decade—foreign oil and gas companies now enjoy 100 percent ownership of their ventures, lower
government royalties and longer exploration licenses—Colombia’s
production of oil and gas increased 77 percent and 56 percent,
respectively, between 2007 and 2012, according to the U.S. Energy
If FARC peace talks succeed, investment and production are
expected to increase even further—not only in oil and gas, but also
in mining. Foreign direct investment in mining has more than quadrupled in the past decade, from US$627 million in 2003 to US$2.9
billion in 2013.
“Colombia is ripe for exploration,” Mr. Barrios says. “Every year
the mining sector is increasing. In 10 or 20 years, when we solve our security
issues, we will have a big mining industry.”
PLUGGED IN, SOURCED OUT
Colombia’s natural resources make it a hot spot for oil and gas. Its human
resources, meanwhile, make it a thriving destination for service industries,
including software and IT services and business process outsourcing (BPO).
IT revenue grew 177 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to U.S.
market research ;rm IDC, which says Colombia’s software industry more than
tripled in the same period. Likewise, exports in Colombia’s BPO sector grew
77 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to the Colombian Association of
Contact Centers and BPO.
“IT projects in Colombia are growing a lot, and many U.S. and European
companies are outsourcing with Colombian people,” says Mr. Vargas, who estimates that as many as four-;fths of Colombians with a PMP credential work
“Enterprise resource planning platforms and specialized software for pipelines and the oil industry are very, very popular,” adds Mr. Sánchez Brand, who
says demand for cloud integration platforms also drives IT projects in Colombia. So much so that IBM, in June 2014, opened a US$17 million data center in
Bogotá—its fourth in Colombia.
A Colombian soldier stands guard while workers
repair the Cano Limon Covenas oil pipeline after
guerrillas blew apart a section of it in 2002 in
“Colombia is ripe for
exploration. Every year
the mining sector is
increasing. In 10 or 20
years, when we solve
our security issues, we
will have a big mining
—Eugenio Jose Barrios Mendoza, PMP