Colombia’s state oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday that 2011 net profit rose 85% to 15.44 trillion pesos ($8.65 billion) compared with the previous year.
Colombia is still fighting Latin America’s longest running guerrilla insurgency, but rebel forces have been severely curtailed since a 2002 U.S.-backed security crackdown that has opened up areas of the country to exploration.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 70.4%, good for an EBITDA margin of 50% in 2011 compared with 45% a year before.
Ecopetrol is 88.3% owned by the government.
The company said oil production by the group – which includes operations outside Colombia – increased 17.6% to an average of 724,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) versus the same period in 2010.
In 2011, Ecopetrol Group proven reserves rose 8.3% to 1.86 billion boepd versus 2010, driven by existing fields and acquisitions.
The New York- and Bogota-listed company plans to invest $8.47 billion in 2012, mainly in production and transport.
Colombia’s total national oil production has ramped up to a record 950,000 bpd as easing security concerns have allowed greater exploitation of heavy crude areas in addition to incremental production rises at existing fields.