UPDATE 1-Pacific Rubiales targets oil and gas output growth of 15-20 pct
Dec 18 (Reuters) - Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp, the largest private oil producer in Colombia, said it is targeting 15-20 percent growth in production in 2014.
The Toronto-based company also said spending on exploration and development activities would rise to $2.5 billion next year, from an estimated $2 billion in 2013.
It attributed the increase to a rise in total development drilling and exploration activity and expenditures on the newly acquired Canadian oil company Petrominerales Ltd.
Pacific Rubiales agreed to buy Petrominerales in September for C$1.6 billion to save costs and to increase its production and exploration assets.
The company targets an average net production of about 148,000-162,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).
Pacific Rubiales estimates to achieve net production of 128,000 to 130,000 boe/d this year, above the high end of its guidance of 15-30 percent growth over 2012 levels.
The oil producer said Colombia will remain the focal point of its 2014 spending plans with a budget of about $2.1 billion.
Colombia's oil sector has witnessed a boom in the last few years after a U.S.-backed military crackdown that vastly improved security and roughly halved the numbers of the main leftist rebel group, the FARC.
Pacific Rubiales's shares, which have fallen 10 percent since the Petrominarel deal, closed at C$18.27 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.