BOGOTA (Dow Jones)--Colombia's oil production climbed 19.5% in April from a year earlier, reaching 776,000 barrels per day, the government said Tuesday.
The increase continues a trend of more oil production in the Andean nation, which is making efforts to attract foreign investment to explore and develop its oil reserves.
State oil company Ecopetrol (ECOPETROL.BO) and its partner companies reached an average production in April of 679,000 barrels per day, a 13.3% increase from a year earlier. Output by companies operating through licensing agreements stood at 97,000 barrels per day, the government's oil agency, known as ANH, said.
Average production so far this year stands at 761,000 barrels per day, a 13.4% increase from a year earlier. In all of 2009, average crude oil output totaled 671,000 barrels a day, the highest since 2000, when average output stood at 688,000 barrels a day.
Colombia's natural-gas production averaged 1.1 billion cubic feet per day in April, up from 979 million cubic feet per day in the same month last year.
Colombia has seen massive inflows of foreign investment to develop its oil and natural gas industries as a result of President Alvaro Uribe market-friendly policies and his administration's success in gaining control of territory once in the hands of Marxist guerrillas.
The country's Mines and Energy Minister Hernan Martinez has said that the country's output could reach 1.2 million barrels a day "in the medium term."
-By Darcy Crowe, Dow Jones Newswires; (57) 1 703 8953; firstname.lastname@example.org