October 31, 2013 / 1:21 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Colombia Ecopetrol Q3 profit rises around 20 pct from yr ago

* State oil company says Q3 profit at around $2 bln

* Says oil, gas output up 7.7 pct in period

* Rise in rebel attacks on oil facilities has hurt firms in Colombia (Adds detail)

BOGOTA, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Colombia’s Ecopetrol posted a net profit of 3.86 trillion pesos ($2.05 billion) in the third quarter of 2013, up 19.6 percent from a year ago mainly due to higher oil production, the state oil company said on Wednesday.

Oil and gas production by the group, which includes operations outside Colombia, was 800,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the quarter, up 7.7 percent from the same period last year, Ecopetrol said in its earnings report.

Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, increased 6 percent in the third quarter to 7.99 trillion pesos, good for a margin of 44 percent versus 40 percent a year before, it said.

Like other companies operating in Colombia, Latin America’s No. 4 oil producer has been hit by delays in getting key permits and a rise in rebel attacks against oil facilities which this month shut the country’s No. 2 pipeline.

A decade-long offensive by U.S.-backed troops against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has pushed them deeper into inhospitable jungles and mountains, but the rebels still attack military and civilian targets, especially in the oil and mining sectors.

$1 = 1884.6000 Colombian pesos Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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