(Photo: Agencia de Noticias)

Colombia’s finance minister on Thursday announced that the country is likely to not make its 2014 target of producing a million barrels of crude oil per day, putting even more pressure on the government’s budget for 2015.

According to Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, the country’s oil industry will not be reaching its one million barrels per day target it had set at the beginning of the year.

In the first 10 months of the year, Colombia’s oil production dropped 2.8% compared to that of the same year before.

Only in October, the country’s oil fields produced more crude oil than in the same month last year.

Colombia’s monthly oil production in 2014

The dropping oil production, combined with a global drop in oil prices, is a headache for the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos which already has trouble closing a budget deficit for the coming year. The state depends on the revenue of oil — an industry responsible for more than 50% of Colombia’s exports — to fund government policies.

A drop in income from oil production would only increase the existing deficit.

MORE: Crunching the numbers on Colombia’s 2015 budget

“It’s a priority for the government to improve the production conditions in the sector as many of the social programs depend on it, they are financed with the resources from this activity,” Cardenas said at a meeting in the central Colombian state of Meta.

Over the past few years, an increase in attacks by rebel groups like the FARC and ELN on oil infrastructure impeded Colombia to fully meet its production potential. This year however, the Defense Ministry claimed that attacks on oil pipelines for example had dropped 34% compared to last year.

Colombia’s annual oil production since 2008


The post Colombia oil production down 2.8%; growing concerns over 2015 budget deficit appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.

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