Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state- controlled oil company, rose for the third time this week after Colombia’s energy minister said the company may study whether to explore and produce crude with Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
Colombia’s biggest oil producer rose 1.2 percent to 3,390 pesos at 3:23 p.m. New York time in Bogota trading.
A bilateral energy committee formed by the two South American countries may encourage an agreement between the companies to explore in Venezuela’s Orinoco belt, Bogota-based La Republica reported today, citing an interview with the Colombian Energy and Mines Minister Carlos Rodado. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who also is president of the Venezuelan state-oil company known as PDVSA, will visit Colombia next month in an effort to discuss a possible accord, the newspaper said, citing Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
“The news that Ecopetrol is in negotiations with PDVSA to explore for oil in the Orinoco belt is what is making shares rise today,” Natalia Agudelo, a Medellin-based analyst at Celfin Capital SA, said today in a telephone interview. “This would help Ecopetrol reach its production goals, but we have to see how the negotiations with Venezuela go.”
An Ecopetrol spokesman in Bogota declined to comment in an e-mail. Alfredo Carquez, a PDVSA spokesman in Caracas, said he couldn’t comment.