November 22, 2017 / 11:57 AM / 24 days ago

Colombia's Ecopetrol to invest up to $4 bln in 2018

BOGOTA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday it would invest between $3.5 billion and $4 billion during 2018, the majority in production and exploration projects.

The company, the Andean nation’s largest, said in a filing to the financial regulator it expected to produce between 715,000 and 725,000 barrels per day next year.

Only 4 percent of investment would be spent abroad, the statement said, with the rest destined for Colombian projects. The company is not taking out external financing for the 2018 plan.

Ecopetrol expects to spend 85 percent of its 2018 investment on exploration and production, including at least 12 exploratory wells. Refineries in Cartagena and Barrancabermeja are set to process between 350,000 and 375,000 barrels per day next year, the company added.

Ecopetrol’s U.S. subsidiary and Spain’s Repsol recently acquired four new blocks for deep water exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Mark Potter)

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