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    Operations in Colombia back to normal, GeoPark says


Widespread protests in the country forced the company to curtail some of its operations.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Americas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Corporate, Exploration & Production, Political, Tax Legislation, News By Country, Latin America

Operations in Colombia back to normal, GeoPark says

Latin America-focused GeoPark said July 1 that its operations in Colombia had returned to normal levels following extensive protests that started in May.

Protests that rocked the country from mid-May to early June blocked the transportation of crude oil, drilling equipment and personnel from reaching its operated Llanos 32 and other assets in the country. GeoPark was forced to curtail production starting in early May as a result.


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“Drilling and field operations are also in full activity with four drilling rigs (three of them operated) and two workover rigs in service in the Llanos basin – as well as with facilities expansion and construction underway,” the company said.

Strikes across Colombia greeted an April tax reform proposal. Working to alleviate chronic debt, Colombian president Ivan Duque proposed a higher tax for middle- and high-income earners, sparking a major public backlash.

GeoPark put its net oil and gas production at between 38,000 and 39,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day, compared with average first quarter 2020 production of 38,131 boe/d.

“Even with the protest-driven curtailments, the company’s consolidated oil and gas production is expected to average approximately 36,500 boe/d in 2Q2021,” it said.

Natural gas generates 8% of Colombian energy, while coal and oil products account for a half. By 2050, natural gas is expected to generate 30% of the country's power under a national energy transition plan.

Internally, GeoPark has sparred with its former chairman and co-founder Gerald O’Shaughnessy, who voiced concerns about corporate strategy. He was removed as board chairman on June 6.

In an open letter to the board, O’Shaughnessy said CEO Jim Park stands in the way of an independent evaluation of the company’s assets and has in general missed out on new opportunities.