These are some of the risks of importing gas

These are some of the risks of importing gas

The last fridaythe Minister of Mines and Energy, Irene Vélez, generated debate by stating that if necessary and once the gas reserves were used, the fuel could be imported from Venezuela.

(Government would contemplate the purchase of gas from Venezuela).

“The first thing we have to do is restore diplomatic relations. We hope that this relationship will allow us to have other strategic issues for energy policy. It is not the desirable scenario to be dependent on a resource, but if after consuming the reserves we still need to supply our matrix, it could be done with that transport connection with Venezuela. But we have time for that scenario.” Vélez said in an interview with Blu Radio.

In this interview he also stated that all hydrocarbon exploration contracts would remain in force. He refers to the 170 left by the administration of Iván Duque and that meant the reactivation of the sector that had not made any progress in the previous government, of former President Juan Manuel Santos. The minister said that the country has reserves of 8 years of this energy.

In this regard, Luz Stella Murgas, president of Naturgas, pointed out that “Plan A, B and C should be to be self-sufficient.” This means that in the first place the country should bet on exploring and exploiting the resources of its subsoil, in order to be independent.

(Natural gas in the fight against poverty).

The union leader pointed out that one of the risks of bringing gas from the neighboring nation is that the final cost of the fuel can increase the cost of the bills for this public service. “Importing gas would increase the cost of the bill five times”, Murgas pointed out.

This idea had already been raised by Felipe Bayón, president of Ecopetrol, who had affirmed on other occasions that the cost of gas could increase up to three or even four times. This by way of the cost of imports that would mean extra burdens for consumers. Murgas stressed that “it would increase the inequality and poverty gap, taking into account that strata 1 and 2 concentrate 60% of the national coverage”, the leader said.

However, Jorge Sierra, CEO of the electrical energy consultancy Enersinc, affirms that the country already imports gas with a value 5 times higher when it needs it without losing its independence.

The union leader points out that it could also affect industries. Many of them use this fuel to generate energy in their processes, so making it more expensive would have an impact on inflation through the Producer Price Indices. Jorge Linero, Canacol’s gas president, said that there is another associated risk and it is related to losing independence. In fact, he considers that in a case in which gas is so expensive, it means an incentive for other energy sources such as coal and firewood, which are much more polluting.

However, Sierra clarifies that a security connection if necessary, for example, in a Ñiño phenomenon only results in greater energy security; he asserted that there is already a gas deficit, so if greater thermal production is needed, the country must import at very high prices.

It is worth remembering that the gas is used to generate energy through thermal plants. To the extent that this rises in price, so would electricity. Experts consider that in order to carry out the energy transition proposed by the Government, it must be taken into account that gas must be competitive to prevent substitutes from being more profitable, since the support of the thermal plants is required in terms of reliability.


Although the Government of President Gustavo Petro has stated that no more hydrocarbon exploration contracts will be signed, it should be noted that there are already 170 contracts signed in the country in the last four years. If successful, some of these projects could mean increases in the index of both gas and oil reserves.

(A brake on oil exploration would increase gas and gasoline prices).

In fact, in two exploratory wells off the Caribbean coast, the presence of a gas province has already been confirmed that could significantly increase the reserve index.


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