Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol announced on Thursday it expects its Cartagena refinery to be fully reopened in March 2016.
The refinery has previously focused primarily on exporting oil products, but is undergoing a $6.4 billion expansion to increase vastly its production of fuel for the domestic market.
By March next year it should be 100 per cent operational again and that should make Colombia self-sufficient in refined oil products.
Cartagena, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is the country’s second biggest refinery and Colombia is Latin America’s fourth biggest oil producer behind Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil.
In the current market of slumping oil prices Colombia has been changing the slate of crudes it exports. This has meant de-emphasising exports of several heavier crudes, mainly Castilla, and increasing offerings of Vasconia – a medium blend that fetches higher prices per barrel.
When the expanded Cartagena refinery is fully functioning it should more than double its capacity to 165,000 barrels per day.