September 1, 2006
Armando Zamora, director of Colombia's National Hydrocarbon Agency.Stories of foreign engineers getting kidnapped in the Colombian countryside had Italian oil and natural gas company ENI SpA wary of investing in the country for years. These days, though, with Colombia's much-improved security and investment climate, ENI is seriously considering placing a bid for an oil exploration block in the country's Caribbean waters. ENI is not alone. Several heavyweight and middle-sized oil companies are dusting off projects in Colombia at a time when world oil prices are near record highs and South American countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia are clamping down on foreign investment
After years as the awkward stepchild for oil companies operating in South America, Colombia is looking awfully attractive.