Colombia's Ecopetrol aiming for 63 pct rise in production by 2020

Fri Nov 8, 2013 11:19am EST
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By Joshua Schneyer and Daniel Bases

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Ecopetrol, Colombia's publicly traded, state-controlled oil company, said on Friday it will spend as much as $75 billion by 2020 to lift oil and gas production to 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed).

The investment, outlined in a presentation to investors and the media in New York, would represent a rise of more than 60 percent over output levels of 800,000 boed in the third quarter.

The company said it plans to concentrate on new exploration and production projects in Colombian onshore and offshore fields.

Javier Gutierrez, chief executive officer of Ecopetrol, said that around 85 percent of the capital expenditures would be dedicated to exploration and production projects.

"We have five hydrocarbon discoveries in Colombia ... with an 83 percent success rate in exploration," Gutierrez said.

"The challenge for the next year is to consolidate the new (operating) model," he added.

Ninety percent of the new projects will occur in Colombia, and are expected to mainly be funded through internal cash generation.

In a shift, Colombia has been sending a greater portion of its oil exports to Asian markets, said vice president of marketing and sales, Claudia Castellanos.   Continued...