BOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Selection Process No. PERUPETRO-001-2010 of the 2010 Peru Round came to a close today in Lima, Peru with 25 Blocks up for bid by PeruPetro S.A., the Peruvian state-owned company responsible for promoting, negotiating, underwriting and monitoring contracts for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in Peru.
Ecopetrol S.A. (NYSE : EC ; BVC: ECOPETROL; BVL: EC; TSX: ECP) ("Ecopetrol" or the "Company"), through its Peruvian subsidiary, Ecopetrol del Peru S.A., was declared the highest bidder for the blocks for which it submitted offers. Ecopetrol del Peru S.A. will be sole operator of Block 179. For the other four blocks (176, 180, 182, 184), Ecopetrol del Peru S.A. will hold a 50% participation interest in a consortium with Repsol Exploracion Peru (25%) and YPF S.A. (25%), with Repsol acting as operator.
Altogether the five blocks cover an area of approximately 2.5 million hectares onshore. Block 176 is located in the area of Ucayali, Blocks 180, 182 and 184 are in the Huallaga basin, and Block 179, in Maranon basin.
These blocks add to Ecopetrol del Peru's current participation in (i) Block 101, which the company is exploring in partnership with Talisman and Repsol, (ii) Blocks 134 and 158, which the company is exploring in partnership with Talisman and (iii) Block 117, which the company is exploring with Petrobras and Inpex. Ecopetrol acts as a non-operating partner in all of these partnerships.
In accordance with Peruvian law, once approval is announced by Supreme License Contract Decree, the corresponding contracts for each of the five blocks can be subscribed, which is expected to take approximately two months.
The results of the 2010 Peru Round strengthen Ecopetrol's exploratory activity with the target of meeting the Company's production goals and increasing reserves by 2020 as set forth in its strategic plan. Additionally, exploration in these areas is encompassed in Ecopetrol's international strategy for Peru, in partnership with other companies with extensive experience in this type of activity.
Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil & gas company, where it accounts for 60% of total production. It is one of the top 40 oil companies in the world and the fourth largest oil company in Latin America. The Company is also involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States Gulf Coast, and owns the main refineries in Colombia, most of the network of oil and multiple purpose pipelines in the country, petrochemical plants, and it is entering into the biofuels business.
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.