Colombia state-led oil and gas firm Ecopetrol on Tuesday tried to calm down investors after its disappointing financial results for the first quarter of 2013 sent its stock down 3%.
Despite a sinking value on the New York Stock Exchange, Ecopetrol showed generally strong results in the first quarter of 2013, highlighting a 44% profit margin, its directors stressed.
“Highlights for the first quarter of 2013,” said CEO Javier Gutierrez on an investors conference call on Monday, “was the growth in production of 6%, which set a new record of almost 791 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, driven by the largest fields.”
Gutierrez added that a series of key discoveries, advances on the Bicentenario pipeline construction project, and the fact that Fitch rating agency upgraded Ecopetrol’s risk outlook from stable to positive contributed to the companies first quarter successes.
Total sales volume for Ecopetrol grew in stride with production over the period 2012 Q1 to Q1 2013 due in large part to greater sales to the Free Trade Zone.
But despite a climb in total sales volume over the year, sales fell in Q1 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012 due to the evolution of lower average prices by 5.7%, said Chief Financial Officer Adriana Echeverri.
Ecopetrol’s main market continues to be the United States, but the share of exports to the Far east moved up from 20% to 36% in the last five months.
Vice President of Downstream Operations Pedro Rosales pointed out the important shift in Ecopetrol’s trading partners and noted the potential of emerging markets. “[The Far East] is becoming an increasingly important market for heavy crudes,” said Rosales.
“Close to 2 million barrels of crude were in transit to India… those will be recorded during the second quarter of this year,” added Echeverry.
Transmision en linea de resultados primer trimestre 2013 (Ecopetrol Conference Call, Slides, Financials)