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Learn about the history of 27 years in which Ocensa has become the most important and modern oil transporter in Colombia.

The oil pipeline that connected Colombia
With a history of 27 years and considered the first major infrastructure project in the country, Ocensa is still the most important and modern oil transporter in Colombia.

Energy Vocation

The country’s energy vocation was boosted in 1983 after the discovery of Caño Limón oil field. Three years later, Colombia was a crude oil exporter and oil became the primary source of foreign exchange. In 1991 British Petroleum discovered the Cusiana field and a year later the Cupiagua field, both in Casanare. The country’s reserves increased to 2,000 million barrels.

Fuente: https://twitter.com/MinEnergiaCo/status/964582654501965825

Modernization of transport

With production growing and world demand for crude oil increasing, it was strategic to improve and modernize the transportation of oil. On December 14, 1994, Oleoducto Central S.A. (Ocensa) was created as a mixed economy company (public and private capital) with the participation of Ecopetrol, Triton Colombia Inc, BP Colombia Pipeline Ltda, Total Pipelien Colombia S.A, IPL Enterprises Inc and TCPL Ltda. From this moment on, the challenge was to build an oil pipeline to transport crude oil from Casanare to the port of Coveñas, in the Gulf of Morrosquillo, Sucre.

The commitment

“During the construction work we had to sleep in tents and set up mobile camps every 5 kilometers”

Tito Cárdenas, professional civil inspector.

Se obtiene la licencia ambiental del proyecto y se inicia la construcción.

Primer cargue por TLU2 del buquetanque Mare Dorico

  • Entra en operación el cuarto de control
  • Finaliza etapa de construcción

The 836-km construction site

The challenge was not easy. The complex topography of the route, the complicated entry with heavy machinery to areas of difficult conditions, just to name two factors, transformed the mission, according to experts, into the country’s first major infrastructure project. It took Ocensa three years to develop an 836-kilometer subway pipeline that passes through 6 departments, 45 municipalities and 366 villages. Briefly simplified: it connected the Plains with the Caribbean through a pipeline to conclude with a 12-kilometer underwater pipeline. A few weeks after the work was completed (February 28, 1998), operations began. Es el único oleoducto de uso público en Colombia.

The scale of the route

Generación de la política H&S (Salud ocupacional y seguridad industrial)

Medición de emisiones atmosférica y calidad del aire

En el cumplimiento de Protocolo de Kyoto, Ocensa realiza una medición a las emisiones atmosféricas de los motores y a las evaporativas generadas en los tanques de almacenamiento, con el excelente diagnóstico de que los índices están por debajo del límite establecido internacionalmente.

Careful, responsible, and efficient

As we entered the new century, the planet faced major challenges that required the company to be more careful, responsible, and efficient. After the completion of the construction work, the company worked for five years on the forestry recovery of the route. In 2002 the company approved policies on occupational health, industrial safety, environment, and human rights.

Heavy crude oil arrives

Entrado el nuevo siglo, el planeta enfrenta grandes desafíos que exigieron a la compañía ser más cuidadosa, responsable y eficiente. Tras la finalización de la obra, durante cinco años se trabajó en la recuperación forestal del trazado. En el 2002 se aprobaron las políticas de salud ocupacional, seguridad industrial, medio ambiente y derechos humanos.

Ocensa implementa el modelo de calidad de crudos para la entrada del crudo pesado

Proyecto crudos pesados: inicia segregación de tercer producto (Mezcla / Cusiana / Castilla).

Acuerdo con el Ideam para el modelo climático y predicción de deslizamientos.

Nueva planta: Altos del Porvenir

The turnaround

“It has turnaround scenario: before, we transported 90% of light crude oil; today, over 90% is heavy crude oil.”

Ignacio Gómez, project manager.

Herramientas inteligentes

Se da la Primera corrida de ILI (herramienta inteligente) off- shore y se implementa el modelo de predicción de movimiento de tierras

Proyecto 560

Ocensa aumenta su capacidad de transporte a 560.000 barriles diarios.

La TLU2 recibe el primer VLCC (Very large crude carrier) llamado Ondina

  • Se transporta el barril número 2.000 millones por el segmento 2.
  • El puerto de Ocensa pasa a ser público.

Cenit is born

Con la separación de los negocios de producción y de transporte de crudo, promovido por el Gobierno Nacional en 2010, nació Cenit, filial de Ecopetrol y principal accionista de Ocensa. A partir de este momento comienza para la compañía una nueva etapa con alto potencial de crecimiento. Inicia estrategia energética de Ocensa con Bi-Fuel para sustituir parte del crudo combustible por gas natural.

Delta 35 Project

Inicia el proyecto Delta 35 por medio del cual se amplía la capacidad de los segmentos I, II y III para el transporte de 35.000 barriles adicionales.

  • Inicia operación descargadero.
  • Implementación de la estrategia energética en las estaciones El Porvenir, Miraflores y Caucasia.
  • Cambio de modelo de negocio.
  • Advent adquiere el 22,35% de las acciones.

Falling oil prices

In 2012, Ocensa transported 58% of the crude oil produced in the country, in 2013 it was 70%. In the middle of the growth process, between the years 2014 and 2015, there was a drop in oil prices, from 100 dollars per barrel to almost 30 dollars. Many companies left, while the company continued with the project to expand its transportation capacity to 560 thousand barrels per day; likewise, it began the re-powering of the entire pumping infrastructure and added three new stations to the pipeline.

Source: Bloomberg

Project Power 135

It increases the system’s pumping power to grow the volume of oil transported between Cusiana and Coveñas by 135,000 barrels per day through the construction of three stations: Paéz, La Granjita and Chiquillo.

Mujer y desarrollo

Inversión social para la generación de confianza, la viabilidad de la operación y la construcción de lugares seguros y en paz.


  • Establecimiento de la política de responsabilidad integral.

Extra heavy crude oil

With the experience acquired in the transportation of light and heavy crude oil, in 2016, it is successfully launched the 600 Centistokes project with the purpose of carrying 126,500 barrels of extra-heavy crude oil.

  • Ampliación de la concesión portuaria por 20 años más.

Inicia operación P135 e ingresan tres nuevas estaciones: Paez, La Granjita y Chiquillo.

  • Se realiza la conexión entre Araguaney y Cusiana, de gran importancia para el país.
  • Desarrollo propio e implementación del seguimiento de eficiencias y puntos operativos óptimos de equipos de bombeo en tiempo real en Scada.

Adcus and energy consumption

  • Adcus was the project to adapt the Cusiana unloading site, which represents a significant point of entry to the pipeline for the company.
  • We developed a system that, in real time, tracks the energy consumption of our operation (based on ISO 50001).

Monthly pumping record

October 2019 It pumped 704.875 Barrels per day
Vessel Loading Number 3.000 By TLU2


  • Inicia transporte de segundo producto de extrapesado.

Change of TLU2

The current monobuoy began operations in April 2021 and replaced the previous TLU2, which had been in service for 24 years. The new tanker loading unit was technologically and technically designed for the export segment over the next 20 years. It manages about 60% of the crude destined for export from the country’s principal ports. It would allow not only to export crude oil, but also to import it. Its loading capacity ranges between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels per hour and allows the transfer of heavier crudes, between 800 and 1,000 centistokes.

Recva Project - Energy recovery of Vasconia

The fall of crude oil passing through the Eastern Mountain Range became the opportunity that Ocensa engineers identified to self-generate energy at the Vasconia station. Some characteristics of the generator turbine:

• Capacity of 9,200 barrels per hour.
• Its operation depends on a constant flow range of 4 and 9 thousand barrels per hour passing through it.
• Requires minimum conditions to operate, when there is something irregular it is self-protected.
• It will deliver a power of 2.2 megawatts / hour.
• It is managed from the control room of the Vasconia station.