01/08/2013 10:48 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Pacific Rubiales eyes 15-30 per cent production growth in 2013, boosts spending

CALGARY - Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. is expecting higher production and spending in 2013.

The Colombia-focused oil and gas company (TSX:PRE) is eyeing a 15 to 30 per cent increase in average daily production in 2013 compared to 2012.

It also expects to spend $1.7 billion on exploration and development this year, a 30 per cent increase over what it expects to have spent in 2012.

The company estimates average production net after royalties was about 99,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2012.

Output was largely flat during the first eight months of the year because of unexpected permit delays in Colombia — a challenge the company expects to persist this year.

Pacific Rubiales finished 2012 producing 117,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, net after royalty.

It says 2013 is off to a stronger-than-expected start with a production rate of 129,000 barrels per day, net after royalty, including production from C&C Energia Ltd., which it recently acquired.

Although Colombia remains at the core of Pacific Rubiales' portfolio, the company is expanding into Peru, Guatemala, Brazil and Papua New Guinea this year.

Pacific Rubiales shares rose six cents to $22.28 in Tuesday morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.