Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol thinks over buying Petro-Tech a privately-held oil firm from Peru
The news was reported by Colombia's Mining and Energy Minister Hernan Martinez.
According to Reuters, Martinez spoke to reporters in Lima, after meeting with Peru's President Alan Garcia to discuss possible projects. The government of Peru, a net oil importer, is actively encouraging foreign companies to invest to help boost oil and gas output.
Last year, Chinese state oil firms were reported to be preparing bids for Petro-Tech, a deal that was then estimated to be worth between $1.5 and $2.5 billion.
Petro-Tech, owned by private U.S. firm Offshore International Group, has shallow-water offshore blocks in Peru covering more than 5 million acres. It produces small amounts of oil and gas, but several discoveries point to greater potential.
In June it made an important natural gas discovery at Block Z-2B, five miles (7.5 km) off the northern coast in Piura, close to its San Pedro field, which was discovered in 2005.
The two fields have reserves estimated at up to 1.2 trillion cubic feet and Petro-Tech estimated they could cost up to $120 million to develop. In April, Petro-Tech found an oil reserve of 1.13 billion barrels at block Z-6, also in northern Peru.