Colombia Oil Auctions Could Land $4B In Investments

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Colombia, one of the world's up-and-coming oil producers, plans to hold oil auctions that will be open to foreign producers starting next year and perhaps lasting through 2014 with the hopes of landing $4 billion in investments to help the South American country boost its oil production.

Resource-rich Colombia has already caught the eye of Mexico's Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, who is investing in Colombia's oil industry, and Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista who has made investments in Colombian mines. Colombia hopes to be producing 1.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020.

If that goal is achieved, it would represent a near double from current production levels. The country produced 884,000 barrels per day in March, according to Bloomberg News. Ecopetrol (EC), Colombia's state-run oil producer, accounts for 60% of the country's oil output.

Colombia is South America's third-largest oil producer behind Brazil and Venezuela. The U.S. is the top destination for Colombian oil, though the country is looking to bolster its ties with Asian customers, Bloomberg reported.