Spanish energy firm Repsol and Exxon Mobil are partnering to continue exploring for oil and gas off the coast of Colombia.
The announcement comes about a week after Colombia said Houston’s Noble Energy and Royal Dutch Shell would lead exploration efforts in other deepwater blocks as Colombia hopes to revitalize its languishing oil sector.
In the past, Repsol, Exxon and Norway’s Statoil, which is now called Equinor, had teamed up for Colombian exploration. The new contracts are 50-50 deals between Repsol and Exxon with Repsol taking the lead on the operations
Colombia’s energy department estimates the investments from Repsol and Exxon will exceed $700 million.
“Our company has operated in Colombia for more than 100 years, and the signing of this contract reinforces our interest in identifying opportunities to expand our operations in the country, both onshore and offshore,” said Exxon Mobil Colombia President Fernando Sarria. “We hope to work with our ally, Repsol, to continue evaluating the potential.”
Colombia is the neighbor of oil-rich but politically unstable Venezuela. Major energy companies have begun to turn to other nations in the region to look for offshore oil and gas.
Exxon Mobil’s much bigger investment is in Venezuela’s other coastal neighbor, Guyana. Exxon Mobil and Hess Corp. are investing billions of dollars to develop Guyana’s offshore oil reserves despite disputed territorial issues with Venezuela.