Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol announced Monday that its proven oil reserves have increased by 35%, from 1.4 billion barrels in 2008 to nearly 1.9 billion barrels in 2009.
The company said that this increase in reserves is the biggest since the discovery of the Piedmonte plains in the 1990s. Most of the new reserves were found in central Colombia, primarily in the Castilla and Chichimene oil fields.
“The company and its subsidiaries added 682 million barrels, equivalent to the reserves of a large oil field in Colombia. For every barrel produced in 2009, three more new ones were added to the reserves,” said the oil firm.
However, the Wall Street Journal reports that following this announcement, Ecopetrol’s share price dropped 1.24% to COP2,385. The U.S. newspaper said that investors were “disappointed” that only 10% of the additional reserves came from newly discovered fields.
“A lot of the increase in reserves is coming from reevaluation of fields they already had, and from acquisitions, and not so much from exploration,” Natalia Agudelo, an analyst with local brokerage Interbolsa, told the WSJ.
This drop in shares follows last week’s announcement of US$1 billion in aid to Ecopetrol from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.