BOGOTA, Colombia, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC; TSX: ECP) placed the most competitive bids in 6 blocks in the "Central Planning Area Lease Sale 216/222" round through its U.S. affiliate (Ecopetrol America Inc.) held in New Orleans as was disclosed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the governmental authority in charge of the process in the United States.
Murphy Exploration and Production and Repsol E&P USA Inc are Ecopetrol's partners in 5 blocks and Apache Corporation and Samson Offshore is a partner in one block.
The official awarding of the blocks will be conducted by the BOEM in the coming months after the final review of bids and ascertaining that the companies fulfill the conditions required for the round.
The bids placed by Ecopetrol and its partners in the 6 blocks amount in the aggregate to approximately US $40 million with Ecopetrol's share approximately US$12.75 million.
These blocks allow deep sea hydrocarbon exploration in water depths of over 800 meters for a 7 to 10-year period.
The new blocks are in addition to the 42 obtained on the U.S. Gulf Coast (Gulf of Mexico) in previous Lease Sales. If awarded, with these 6 blocks, Ecopetrol will increase its participation in this prolific hydrocarbon basin to 122 blocks.
56 companies participated in the round of offshore blocks located in the U.S. Gulf Coast (Gulf of Mexico), and placed 593 bids on 454 blocks. The total area offered was 2.4 million acres.
Ecopetrol believes that the results obtained strengthen Ecopetrol's position in the U.S. Gulf Coast (Gulf of Mexico), considered a focus area in its internationalization process.
Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil & gas company, where it accounts for 60% of total production. It is one of the top 50 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 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.
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SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.