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Cablegate: Colombia: Input for Congressional Report On Energy

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0482 0371542
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061542Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1226

UNCLAS BOGOTA 000482

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EEB/ESC/IEC FOR GGRIFFIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG SENC APER ABUD CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA: INPUT FOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON ENERGY

REF: STATE 10743

1. The following responses are keyed to requests in reftel.

A. A number of agencies at post handle energy issues. The
State Department Economic Section primarily handles energy
reporting and cooperation matters. Insofar as issues may
directly involve U.S. companies, the Economic Section and the
Commerce Department Foreign Commercial Service (FCS)
coordinate to assist U.S. firms. The total number of staff
in the Economic Section is six officers, one Office
Management Specialist, and two locally engaged staff (LES)
economic specialists. The total number of staff in the
Foreign Commercial Service is two officers, seven LES
commercial specialists, two administrative staff, and two
contractors. The Economic Unit in USAID, comprised of one
officer and three LES staff, is in charge of technical
assistance to the Colombian government for policy reform in
the energy sector.

B. 1 Deputy Economic Counselor: 25 percent of time. 1 LES
Economic Specialist: 25 percent of time. 1 Commercial
Counselor: 10 percent of time. 1 Commercial Deputy
Counselor: 10 percent of time. 1 LES Commercial Specialist:
25 percent of time. 1 LES Commercial Specialist: 10 percent
of time. 1 USAID LES economist: 5 percent of time.

C. The Deputy Economic Counselor's portfolio include
monitoring and reporting on developments in Colombia's energy
sector, developing contacts in the Colombian government
agencies related to energy (e.g. Ministry of Mines and
Energy, National Hydrocarbons Agency, the state-owned oil
company Ecopetrol) as well as international hydrocarbons
companies operating in Colombia, and responding to
energy-related action requests from Washington. The LES
Economic Specialist assists the Deputy Economic Counselor in
these efforts. The FCS Commercial Counselor and Deputy
Commercial Counselor also monitor sector developments as well
as develop contacts in the government and private sector.
Likewise, they respond to requests from the Trade Development
Agency and Department of Energy regarding trade promotion
activities in the energy sector. The FCS Commercial
Specialists assist the Commercial Counselor and Deputy with
any U.S. firms interested in doing business with Colombia's
energy sector, including advocacy on any disputes that may
arise. The USAID LES economist participates in planning,
developing and implementing programs related to energy
pricing regulations and anti-monopolistic policies in the
energy sector.

D. State-funded Personnel: 25 percent of FS-02 Deputy
Economic Counselor position salary. 25 percent of LES
Economic Specialist position salary (FSN-11 grade).
State-funded Programs: Post hosted an energy speaker in FY07
funded by EEB at a cost of $3,300.
Brownfield

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