Aiman El-Ramly and I had the good pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Colombia Oil and Gas Summit and Expo in Cartagena last week.

The summit is a leading oil and gas event in the region that brings together key national and international stakeholders and decision-makers. A significant number of large, fully-integrated oil and gas companies were present at the event, including four national companies: Ecopetrol, Petrominerales, Pacific Rubiales and Gran Tierra.

In recent years Latin America and Colombia in particular have become increasingly attractive markets to invest in. The world’s top 20 oil and gas companies are already present in the country. As it currently stands, there are more than 100 drilling companies working there. And if statistics are anything to go by, it doesn’t come as any real surprise that interest in the country is continuing to grow.

It’s estimated that Colombia currently produces just under 1,000,000b/d. It also has proven reserves of more than 1.668 billion barrels. This number could be set to increase due to growing interest in shale oil production in the Magdalena Basin. It’s fair to say that the boom in Colombia oil and gas industry has been due in part to the opening up of the industry to foreign investment in 2008 and the fact that Venezuela is no longer the regional leader anymore.

While the summit provided us with much food for thought thanks to a host of articulate and well informed speakers, it was the expo itself that proved to be the most productive experience over the course of the three days. In all, there were about 50 exhibitors present. From Aiman and my own perspectives, it was a great opportunity to meet with attendees and participants.

A key highlight from this year’s event for me was to meet and talk with to Carlos Restrepo from Zeuss Petroleum about the core functions of ZEMA and to discuss how the solution could assist the Colombian Mercantile Exchange in their data acquisition and distribution.  I would like to thank the organisers for a very interesting event and look forward to next year.