UPDATE 2-Colombia's Ecopetrol says will not extend Pacific Rubiales oilfield contract

Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:42pm EDT
 
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(Adds Ecopetrol statement)

BOGOTA, March 13 (Reuters) - Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol will not extend its contract with Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales to operate the country's highest-producing oilfield, the company said on Friday.

Under the contract, set to expire in the first half of 2016, Ecopetrol has rights to 60 percent of the production at the Campo Rubiales oilfield, while Pacific has the remaining 40 percent.

"Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales Energy have agreed not to extend the participation contract," the state-owned company said in a statement.

"Ecopetrol will evaluate different alternatives for the operation of Campo Rubiales. For its part, Pacific Rubiales Energy will study the possibility of presenting a proposal to operate this asset."

Ecopetrol is taking the field back to add additional output to its books, and amid broad congressional support for the move.

Pacific Rubiales said it had nothing to add beyond the Ecopetrol statement.

The change comes amid a precipitous fall in income for oil exporters across the world after prices more than halved. Crude is the largest export and source of foreign exchange in Colombia, Latin America's fourth biggest oil producer.

A Pacific Rubiales executive told Reuters last year before oil prices had begun to drop, that the company's investments in production elsewhere in Colombia would compensate for the possible loss of the Campo Rubiales operating contract.   Continued...