Colombian state-run energy firm
Ecopetrol said on Tuesday fourth-quarter net
profit rose 48 percent to 2.05 trillion pesos as stronger sales
offset a sharp downturn in global energy prices.
Full-year net profit jumped 125 percent from a year earlier
to a record 11.63 trillion pesos ($4.63 billion), due largely
to high oil prices in the first half of 2008, the company said
in a statement posted by Colombia’s stock exchange.
The annual net profit was the biggest ever reported by a
“This has been a year of significant achievements for
Ecopetrol in key areas,” said President Javier G. Gutierrez.
“Oil and natural gas production continues to rise and we have
made progress on important domestic and international
Ecopetrol’s oil and gas production rose 10.4 percent in the
final quarter of the year and 12 percent over the whole 12
months, the company said.
Ecopetrol, which sold 10 percent of its shares to private
investors in 2007, accounts for most of Colombia’s oil output,
which the government said should reach 650,000 barrels per day
(bpd) this year.
The firm expects to produce 457,000 bpd this year and plans
to increase investments by 35 percent to $6.2 billion, financed
mostly with its own resources, officials have said.
It aims to boost output to 1 million barrels of oil
equivalent per day by 2015.
Colombia’s government hopes for record oil sector
investment and exploration this year, especially in heavy crude
deposits, as violence from the country’s four-decade long
conflict with left-wing guerrillas eases under President Alvaro