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Colombian bid round: old and new challenges

A combination of social disputes and competition from Guyana and Suriname is hampering Bogota’s efforts to attract further investment

Colombia’s state licensing regulator, the National Hydrocarbon Agency (ANH), announced in December the winners of the country’s second oil auction of the year. Blocks 123 and 124 in the Llanos Basin, an oil rich region in the east of the country, were awarded to a consortium headed by Latin American-focused operator Geopark—taking a 50pc stake—with Hocol, a subsidiary of the Colombian state controlled Ecopetrol, holding the remaining equity. The only other competitor for Block 124 was from Canadian firm Parex Resources. Geopark described the expansion of its Colombian portfolio and the acquisition of the blocks, which total an area of nearly 116,000 gross acres, as “attractive, low-risk, hi

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