Argentina, Brazi,l and Mexico are the countries where Ecopetrol will focus its efforts this year to not only look for assets that are for sale, but incidentally, to participate in auctions of oil blocks.
Thanks to the fact that the Colombian oil company has a box that allows it to expand its international operation, its strategy will be based on undertaking an “orderly” process for the purchase of reserves.
Ecopetrol has $14.5 billion in its coffers, which will allow it to look at options to increase the almost 1.7 billion barrels of proven reserves it reported at the end of 2017.
Felipe Bayón Pardo, president of the Colombian oil company, who these days holds meetings with potential partners in Houston, within the framework of CeraWeek, has argued that purchases and acquisitions are one of the four pillars to increase the remaining oil in the next years.
To develop the strategy, Ecopetrol has been strengthening its alliances with companies such as Petronas and Pemex, since it will not only look for offshore operations, as is the case in the Gulf of Mexico, but also onshore in fields that would be auctioned in Argentina and Brazil.
Portafolio established that the company’s priority for this procurement plan will be concentrated in the Americas, where it already has operations in the United States and Peru.
It is worth remembering that Ecopetrol’s acquisition process had a first movement in 2017 with the purchase of a larger share of the K2 field on the United States coasts.
“In 2018 several oil auctions will be presented in countries of the region such as Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, in which we are interested in participating,” the president of the oil company told a news agency.
In several scenarios, the senior executive of the oil company has reiterated that they are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that arise, “the discipline that we have consolidated together with a more favorable pricing environment, will allow us to better position ourselves to grow our operation profitably and safe”.
For 2018, Ecopetrol contemplates investments between US $3.5 and $4 billion with a strong focus on exploration and production, which will represent 85% of the expansion plan. Part of this spending will be allocated to projects that seek to grow reserves, including a pilot program to explore unconventional resources in Magdalena Medio.