The Minister of Finance, Ricardo Bonilla, said that importing gas from Venezuela is not contemplated. “We have no risk of importing gas from Venezuela (…) we have found gas offshore and in the Caribbean and it is in the evaluation phase,” the official said.
Regarding the report on oil and gas reserves, Bonilla said that “the report from the National Hydrocarbons Agency does not yet include the offshore findings, “that is why we ask the Agency for a report within six months where these findings are already included.”
According to Bonilla, “There are 20 million hectares under concession to explore and exploit hydrocarbons, that is, a fifth of the country (…) and that these areas must be explored before considering new contracts.
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“Colombia has 17 million hectares under exploration, two in exploitation and two in the process of analysis, there is a country in which a fifth is directed to look for hydrocarbon resources,” said the finance minister.
The official also indicated that the budget addition will be approved at the end of June and that its amount will be reduced from $23.2 billion pesos to $14.7 billion pesos.
This is because it was previously foreseen that the dividends that Ecopetrol pays to the State will be included in the addition and will go directly to the deficit of the Fuel Price Stabilization Fund (FEPC) as a crossing of accounts with the Government, but With this decrease, only $18 billion pesos will go, which were already accounted for in the General Budget of the Nation approved last year, amounting to $405 billion pesos.
“We do not need to cross-check accounts, we decided to hold a technical table with Ecopetrol and the Ministry of Mines and Energy to be able to transfer the figures,” said the minister.
He added that $21 billion in dividend income and $18 billion pesos in FEPC spending are budgeted, “what remains to be paid for the deficit will be discussed at this technical table,” he said.
“The amount of the budget addition is $14.7 trillion pesos and it is expected that the national entities can execute it in the second semester, the budget addition will be approved at the end of June and its resources will begin to be used in July.”
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“What will be prioritized with this addition are the sectors of economic reactivation, that is, it is a fight against the economic slowdown, that is, in housing, public works and proposing a greater investment in agriculture,” said the head of the portfolio.
Finally, the Minister of Finance said that the fund that is intended to be created in the pension reform to manage the contributory pillar will not be administered by Colpensiones.
“The fund must not have governance and must be treated by a board of directors that makes decisions and cannot be headed by an entity like Colpensiones, it could be headed by a mixed entity, but that remains to be defined,” he said.