Spotlight on Columbia's Growing Petroleum Sector

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Governments from around the world seeking to exploit their country's oil and gas reserves must make a number of difficult decisions, including policy decisions about how to attract inward foreign direct investment (FDI). To do this, there are a variety of policy options available to governments, but some policies yield better results than others. Colombia is an example of a country where institutional policy reforms to its petroleum sector appear to have caused notable economic growth and prosperity. In fact, over the past ten years Colombia's oil and gas sector has attracted record-levels of inward foreign direct investment, particularly from Canadian investors. This paper seeks to describe how Colombia, despite having only moderate oil and gas reserves, has attracted more FDI than many of its oil-rich neighbors. After interviewing investors about their experiences in Colombia, this project finds that reforms aimed at strengthening petroleum institutions were critical. More specifically, this report finds that the creation of Colombia's first independent regulator, the Agenda Naciona/ de Hidrocarburos (ANH), has been the most effective public policy enacted by the Colombian government to secure petroleum-related foreign direct investment.
Beach, Shantel. (2012). Spotlight on Columbia's Growing Petroleum Sector ( Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from