CARTAGENA, Colombia, June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ecopetrol (BVC: ECOPETROL, NYSE: EC, BVL: EC) presented the highest bids for 9 exploratory blocks in the Open Round Colombia 2010 held today by the Colombian National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) in Cartagena.
The 9 blocks cover a total area of approximately 2.8 million hectares and are located in the basins Llanos (provinces of Arauca, Casanare and Meta), Valle Medio del Magdalena (Cundinamarca, Caldas), Sinu-San Jacinto (Antioquia and Cordoba), and the Caribbean and Pacific offshore.
Ecopetrol will have 100% participation in five of the bids presented. Of these five, four are located in Llanos Orientales and the other in Tumaco basin in the Pacific.
Among the bids made by Ecopetrol are highlighted the Cayos 1 and Cayos 5 blocks, which were submitted in partnership with Repsol and YPF. Exploration in this part of the Colombian Caribbean is part of Ecopetrol's strategy of strengthening its offshore presence in partnership with other oil companies with extensive experience in this activity.
Also, in partnership with SK Energy of Korea, Ecopetrol made the highest bid for the Sinu-San Jacinto block (SSJS-1) and together with Cementaciones Petroleras de Venezuela Ecopetrol submitted the highest bid for VMM 32 block.
Estimated investment in developing activities in the 9 blocks will be in approximately US$102 million over the next three years, which corresponds to the first phase of exploration period.
These bids place Ecopetrol in first position in terms of eligibility for the respective contracts to be awarded by the ANH.
The expected positive results of the Open Round will strengthen Ecopetrol's exploratory activity as well as its search for new reserves, with the objective of reaching the 2015 goal of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
A summary of the 9 blocks for with Ecopetrol had the highest bids today is set forth below:
Participation offered in production for ANH (%)
TUM OFF 3
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SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.