BOGOTA, Colombia, June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Board of Directors of Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC; BVC: ECOPETROL; BVL: EC) has approved the request to expand the commercial area of the Rubiales field, located in the Meta district 148 kilometers (92 miles) from the Puerto Gaitan municipality.
This declaration of expansion means that, after evaluating the potential of the additional surface and the results obtained from preliminary oil wells, Ecopetrol decided to integrate this sector into the commercial production of the field, together with operating company Meta Petroleum.
The Rubiales Risk Participation Contract was signed on July 1, 1988. Ecopetrol has a 60% share in expenses and a 50% share in investments, and receives 60% of the hydrocarbon production after royalties.
The Rubiales field has a commercial surface of 29,447 hectares (72,839 acres), including the additional commercial surface of 7,135 hectares (17,631 acres) approved today. The production plan forecasts an average daily production of 170,000 barrels a day in 2011 (including the production of the Piriri Partnership Contract). The field's current daily oil production reaches 122,500 barrels.
Rubiales is adjacent to the recently declared commercial field Quifa and the Piriri contract area, in which Ecopetrol and Meta Petroleum are also partners.
At present, Ecopetrol has an average daily production of 216 barrels at the Meta district, from direct fields such as Castilla and its share in fields operated jointly with other companies.
The extension of the commercial surface of the Rubiales field forms part of the heavy crude project, one of the axes of Ecopetrol's strategy for 2015, aimed at a daily production of one million equivalent barrels (oil and gas) by 2015.
Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil company and is among the top 40 oil companies in the world and the four largest oil companies in Latin America. Besides Colombia, where it accounts for 60% of total production, the Company is involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States (Gulf of Mexico). Ecopetrol has the principal refinery in Colombia, most of the network of oil and multiple purpose pipelines in the country, and it is considerably increasing its participation in biofuels.
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of Ecopetrol. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Colombian economy and the industry, among other factors; therefore, they are subject to change without prior notice.
SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.