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Colombia’s Ecopetrol to Auction Off 20 Oil and Gas Blocks

Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest state-run oil company, has announced its plans for an electronic auction of twenty gas and oil blocks to be held on 30 September.

The “Ronda Campos 2016” was announced on 23 June at an auction launch featuring representatives of 138 firms from twenty-one countries, including domestic producers and some that already operate in Colombia.

“The process, which was presented in front of industry representatives, is a public call aimed at national and international companies who wish to strengthen their position in Colombia or expand their operations in the country,” according to an Ecopetrol statement.

Ecopetrol expects the anticipated increase in investment from the auction to “improve the hydrocarbon sector”.

Ecopetrol did not detail the names of the twenty sites up for auction, but noted they are located in the regions of Catatumbo, Middle and Upper Magdalena Basins, Llanos, and Putumayo. The sites are situated near “logistics facilities” that the company hopes can serve as particularly attractive to small- and medium-sized investors.

Ecopetrol believes the auction process will help to “divest (its) portfolio in order to obtain higher returns for shareholders.”

The company has faced budgetary constraints as a result of the low price of oil; thus, it has been selling assets to fund its investment plan that has shrunk by $1.8 billion this year.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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