Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol has set an output target of 600,000 barrels a day (bpd) of crude and gas and will invest around US$6.92 billion next year, the company announced Friday.
Ecopetrol recently said its production this year is expected to be more than 490,000 bpd. Colombia, now Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer, produced around 720,000 bpd in November.
“This budget is in line with the strategy to produce one million barrels equivalent per day by 2015,” said Ecopetrol President Javier Gutierrez.
Of the investment total, 93% will be destined for Colombia and the rest for operations overseas. The oil company plans to seek US$3.5 billion in financing for next year, mainly from local and international bonds but also from commercial banks and foreign export agencies.
Ecopetrol intends to invest an additional $1.29 billion in refineries in 2010.
The company, which is 89.9% controlled by the state with shares listed on the Bogota and New York markets, in October said its third-quarter earnings tumbled 70%, hit by lower oil prices and the appreciation of the Colombian peso. (Dow Jones, Reuters)