Colombia’s state oil company Ecopetrol saw profits soar 28 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2011, the company announced.
Earnings reached $2.4 billion through March, up from $1.9 billion in the same period last year, driven by increased production and export and favorable market prices, according to an Ecopetrol statement.
Hydrocarbon production reached a company record of 743,000 barrels per day – an 8% hike.
“In the first quarter of 2012 the company continued its growth momentum in all business segments, progressed in implementing our strategic plan goals, and reached record levels in volumes produced, transported and sold,” said Ecopetrol president Javier Gutierrez in a company statement.
“Additionally, the favorable price environment, coupled with our competitive cost structure, allowed us to record a record EBITDA for the quarter.” He added.
Sales for the period rose 24%, with foreign sales up 32%.
The news comes five days after the company announced its first oil strike for 2012, after further reserves were found in the Tisquirama oil field, located in the northeastern department of Cesar.
Ecopetrol has exploratory operations in Brazil and in March announced plans to drill in Venezuela.