UPDATE 1-Ecopetrol Q3 net profit surges to $983.4 mln on better oil prices

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BOGOTA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Colombian majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol’s third-quarter net profit surged to 3.81 trillion pesos ($983.4 million) on higher crude prices and structural changes implemented to meet recent industry challenges, the company said on Tuesday.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 97% to 10.4 trillion pesos.

“The results of the third quarter of 2021 confirm Ecopetrol’s technical, operational and financial capacity to take advantage of the favorable price environment,” Ecopetrol Chief Executive Felipe Bayon said in a statement.

“They also demonstrate the benefits of structural adjustments we have implemented in response to recent challenges,” he added.

The net-profit figure was the best recorded by the company during the past decade, Ecopetrol said.

Crude basket prices in the third quarter rose 77% to $68 per barrel, Ecopetrol said, up from $38.40 a barrel in the year-earlier period.

The company recorded a profit of 855 billion pesos and an EBITDA of 5.25 trillion pesos in the third quarter of 2020.

Total sales in the third quarter of 2021 were up 89.3% to 23.3 trillion pesos, from 12.3 trillion pesos a year earlier, the company said.

Production in the third quarter of 2021 rose slightly to 683,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (bped), from 680,900 bped in the year-earlier period, Ecopetrol said.

In the first nine months of this year, output declined 3.5% to an average of 673,600 bped, the company said, after national unrest disrupted output in the second quarter.

Average daily production for the year is now forecast at around 680,000 bped, it added.

Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos reported a third-quarter loss of $3.7 billion at the end of October, citing higher tax payments and foreign exchange losses, while Brazil’s Petrobras saw a quarterly profit of around $5.3 billion.

$1 = 3874.41 Colombian pesos Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Additional reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney