Skip to content

A $900 Million Oil-Bond Rout Is Red Flag for Green Push

  • Gustavo Petro aims to quickly shift Colombia from fossil fuels
  • State-run oil company Ecopetrol’s bonds bear brunt of effort
Ecopetrol's Barrancabermeja refinery in February, 2022.

Ecopetrol's Barrancabermeja refinery in February, 2022.

Photographer: Ivan Valencia/Bloomberg
Updated on

Perhaps no leader who presides over an oil-producing nation has bolder plans to transition away from fossil fuels than Colombia’s Gustavo Petro. 

It’s a push that, in the abstract, few would have issue with. The key question is whether Petro can execute it in a way that mitigates the financial pain inflicted on Colombians. If not, the plan’s political viability likely collapses. The answer won’t come for months or even years. But in one corner of the bond market, where traders buy and sell debt issued by Ecopetrol, the state-owned oil giant, early signs of trouble are brewing.