Colombia's foreign minister said petroleum agencies from the Andean nation and Jamaica are conducting studies with a view to possible joint offshore oil exploration in their shared maritime area.

Maria Angela Holguin commented in a joint press conference with Jamaican counterpart Kenneth Baugh, on a two-day official visit to Colombia for a meeting of a bilateral commission.

"The Hydrocarbons Agency (of Colombia) and the (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) have been carrying out environmental-impact studies with the possibility of us conducting joint oil exploration in that common regime area," Holguin said.

The Colombian foreign minister said relations with Jamaica are "extremely important" because the two nations share an extensive maritime border and "something very unusual in international law, which is a common regime area of almost 15,000 sq. kilometers (5,800 sq. miles)" in the Caribbean Sea.

She also referred to the Caribbean country's interest in Colombia's energy resources.

"In terms of hydrocarbons ... Jamaica at the moment has energy requirements and needs that make them see us as potential suppliers of oil, coal and gas," Holguin said.

Baugh, meanwhile, acknowledged that his country "has serious energy problems" and expressed interest in "liquefied natural gas as a main source" of energy from Colombia, as well as oil and coal.

He also said Colombia is rich in natural resources and technology and that cooperation between Jamaica and the Andean nation will contribute to both nations' development.

Holguin said these initiatives stem from her meetings with Baugh and are processes that are in the early stages.

She added, however, that eventual gas exports to Jamaica will be shipped by barge from Sucre, the Caribbean province that is the terminal of Colombia's Caño Limon-Coveñas gas pipeline.