With Innovation, Ecopetrol Leads to Energy Transformation

Ecopetrol is in energy transition mode. After recording the best results in its recent history in the first half of this year, it is moving forward in one of its main focuses: technology and innovation as the main levers of sustainable growth.

“We developed the SusTECnibility® concept as technology is at the heart of our actions in the energy transition and climate change”Ernesto José Gutierrez de Pinares, the oil company’s vice president of science, technology and innovation, says.

Ecopetrol started the energy transition process five years ago. According to him, it is already a diverse set of energies. “Our ‘energy that transforms’ strategy seeks to reinvent ourselves at the forefront of technology with highly decarbonized operations by 2040 and to remain the engine of growth for the Colombian people.”

The group is committed to decarbonization and “water-neutrality”, and technology is in service of these goals. For example, with the Israel Innovation Authority, it works on technologies for energy storage, with S&P Global it leads the development of a platform for managing carbon emissions, and with Accenture and Amazon it has led the way in water storage. A platform has been created for management. In addition, it develops pilots to reduce drilling time and reservoir simulation.

The farm will have an installed capacity of 1.8 MWp and a battery storage system.
In Providencia, EcoPetrol is building a solar farm that will have an installed capacity of 1.8 MWp and a battery storage system. , Photo: Ministry of Energy – Edward Baragani

“Our Technological Development Center – ICP has been important. From there we have been building strategic alliances for over 35 years to strengthen innovation in the country., adds Gutierrez de Pinares. In this path of transition, the production of green hydrogen as an energy source, as well as the collection and storage of carbon, stands out among others. These innovations are part of a path from energy diversification to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Between 2019 and 2022, more than 1.2 trillion pesos (about $310 million) has been allocated for science, technology and innovation projects. Focused on improving operational performance, generating competitive advantage and making sustainability strategy viable.

Between 2022-2024, another billion pesos will be allocated for innovation, technology and digital transformation projects. “Knowledge is our most important intangible asset,” says Gutierrez de Pinares.

Petrobras is the operator of the Terona block with a 44.4% stake and Ecopetrol holds the remaining 55.6%.
New discovery of EcoPetrol in collaboration with Petrobras. , Photo: EcoPetrol

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As of June 2022, it has 114 patents applied in Colombia, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Russia, Nigeria, Indonesia, India and Malaysia. Between 2019 and 2022, it has received 32 invention patents, of which six were granted by the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce in 2022 so far. Between the first half of 2019 and 2022, innovation, technology and digital transformation initiatives and projects generated $1,260 million in profits. Focused on improving operational performance, creating a competitive advantage and making its sustainability strategy viable.

At Ecopetrol they also work in the national open innovation ecosystem through the 100×100 program: 100 industry challenges to be solved with technological solutions by 100 entrepreneurs in the country. To date, they have launched over 20 open innovation challenges, strengthening the Colombian EnergyTech ecosystem.

More than 80 companies from 16 countries participated in the selection process conducted by Ecopetrol.
More than 80 companies from 16 countries participated in the selection process conducted by Ecopetrol. , Photo: EcoPetrol

Ecopetrol’s Vice President of Science, Technology and Innovation says that The company is confident that innovation makes them competitive and sustainable over timeThat’s why they focus on their workers understanding innovation as part of their DNA. “Our path traveled in innovation responds to a cooperation strategy”, he reiterated.

One of the company’s goals is for its Technological Development Center-ICP to be an engine of science, technology and innovation in the region, while becoming increasingly connected globally. that’s because The great challenges of the energy transition require orchestration and collaborative innovation.

The idea is that ICP will be part of the EnergyTech ecosystem through an open innovation network in the following ecopetrol areas:

• Caribbean: Energy Transition, Hydrogen and Petrochemicals (under construction)

• Antioquia: Energy transmission (in plan)

• Goals: Biodiversity and Sustainability (in the plan)

• Santander: Nanotechnology and Biotechnology (in operation)

• Bogota: Industrial Revolution 5.0 (in operation)

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