In the midst of the debate due to the declarations of some members of the cabinet that there will be no new oil exploration and production contracts, Jaime Arteaga & Asociados presented the report ‘Oil Barometer’ in which it shows the perspectives and opinions of the industry, the government and the people.
(Ecopetrol: Felipe Bayón was endorsed as president of the company).
The points that stand out in the document are the appreciations of the community with respect to the oil companies. Some results are mixed with respect to contributions to communities. For example, 79% of the population considers that the oil industry is necessary to finance social programs and public investment by the State.
This was the statement with the most support and is followed with 73% of the opinions by the statement that oil and gas companies promote the hiring of local labor, goods and services.
Jaime Arteaga, director of the firm that prepared the Barometer, pointed out that this represents a consensus in statistical terms.
However, he also noted that There are important differences found when analyzing the producing regions from the non-producing ones.. “Even so, including non-producers, the sector is recognized as the most important for exports,” he explained.
(Why did business confidence deteriorate in September?).
The study shows that the non-producing regions consider agriculture to a greater extent as the main export sector (25%) compared to oil, which is located in the second row (17%).
This panorama changes in the producing regions, in which 30% of the community assures that oil is the main export product and agricultural products are in second place with 24%.
Arteaga explained that these differences deepen when reviewing more specific issues related to the local economy. For example, when consulting the population regarding the sectors that generate the most employment in the region, it was shown that oil and gas is 1%, while in the producers the balance is 19%.
These data are important because Arteaga points out that they are the non-oil areas where decisions are made that have an impact on the sector. “These are the regions where there is the greatest pressure from public opinion to make decisions about the oil industry,” he said.
He pointed out that there are sources of disappointment in the communities regarding the oil industry. Among these, it is found that it is considered one of the most polluting: in non-oil zones it is the second line that is considered the most polluting with 22% of the responses. This increases in the producing areas where the percentage is 48%.
The expert concluded that the discussions around the challenges of oil have made it possible to improve their image. This led to 78% of Colombians considering that the oil industry is positive for the country.
Reduction of operations
One of the results evidenced in this version of the study is that there is a pessimism about the operationin which there was a significant increase in the companies that consider that they will reduce their operations in the next 5 years.
The percentage of executives who consider that they will expand their operations decreased from 43% to 34%, that is, 9 percentage points less consider that they will do so. Not only that, in fact, businessmen increased their forecast for a contraction in operations, going from 21% to 37%, which is an increase of 16 percentage points.
“If we ask them why they think this behavior is going to happen, the main reason is the change of government (24%), followed by lack of government support (20%) and rejection by the communities (16%),” he explained. Arteaga.
It should be remembered that some messages regarding the sector have to do with the fact that the Ministry of Mines and Energy, headed by Irene Vélez, has stated that new oil exploration and production contracts will not be promoted.
To this are added other alerts such as the one raised by the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP), headed by Francisco José Lloreda, who says that the tax reform could make some oil operations unviable, with which operations could be reduced in the coming years. .
Daniela Morales Soler