Colombia's Ecopetrol to Partner with Anadarko in Offshore Blocks

BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombia's state-run oil firm Ecoeptrol SA will partner with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in offshore exploration in two blocks in the Caribbean Sea, an area that Ecopetrol considers of strategic importance in its oil exploration strategy.

The companies will each have a 50% stake in each block, which are called Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur. The agreement was signed Dec. 7, Ecopetrol said in a statement Thursday. "The blocks are located in one of the key zones for the exploration strategy of Ecoeptrol," the company said.

Colombia has seen a boom in oil production over the last few years and is nearing the 1 million barrels-a-day production mark, which the government has presented as a milestone for the industry. But while production has surged, new reserves haven't kept pace with output growth, putting pressure on oil companies in the country to find new oil sources.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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