Colombia mulls making state-run oil firm Ecopetrol 'obligatory partner' in offshore wind farms

Colombia is considering making the majority state-run oil company Ecopetrol a compulsory partner in its offshore wind farms. 

The country's Ministry of Mines and Energy is planning to consult businesses about a rules change that would force the move ahead of its first offshore wind auction expected later this year, the Reuters news agency reported today (12 September), citing "three people familiar with the matter". 

The fossil fuel-reliant country, which has coastlines on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, has no installed offshore wind at present but could develop up to 50GW of offshore wind, according to a 2022 World Bank study. 

President Gustavo Petro has vowed to address the climate crisis by embracing renewable energy and calling for a ban on oil and gas exploration. 

If approved, the rules change would make it mandatory for Ecopetrol to take part in each offshore wind project up for auction, according to Reuters. An unnamed source claimed that Ecopetrol would hold a “very, very small” stake alongside other companies developing offshore wind farms to minimise risks to any particular project. 

Former mines and energy minister Irene Velez said in May the inaugural offshore wind auction would target between four and six offshore wind projects off the country’s north-east Atlántico department.