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Colombia Says Oil and Mine Spending to Reach $10 Billion

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Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia, South America’s third-largest oil producer, expects about $10 billion in international investment in crude, mining and energy projects this year, Mines Minister Mauricio Cardenas said.

The amount is similar to last year’s foreign direct investment, Cardenas said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

President Juan Manuel Santos has lured companies owned by billionaires Carlos Slim and Eike Batista to Colombia, where production of crude rose to a record last year. The nation also is South America’s largest supplier of coal.

Cardenas has been meeting in Davos with executives from companies such as AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Glencore International Plc, and Chile’s state-owned copper company, Codelco, which may seek to explore for the metal in Colombia, according to the minister’s account on Twitter Inc.

Foreign direct investment in Colombian coal mines and metals and oil projects climbed to $6.5 billion in the first nine months of 2011 from $3.6 billion a year earlier, according to the South American country’s central bank figures.

Oil production will increase 18 percent to an average of 1.1 million barrels a day in December from a year earlier, while coal output this year will climb about 14 percent to 97 million tons, Cardenas said in a Jan. 12 interview.

Colombia is the third-largest crude producer in South America after Venezuela and Brazil.

To contact the reporters on this story: Heather Walsh in Santiago at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net; Alaa Shahine in Davos, Switzerland at asalha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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