Ecopetrol Targets Lower Oil Output in 2016 Amid Investment Cuts

(Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s state-controlled Ecopetrol SA is targeting reduced production next year as the company slashes its investment budget amid falling oil prices.

The combined business group is targeting output of 755,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day next year, down from a 2015 target of 760,000 barrels, Ecopetrol said in a statement Monday. The board approved an investment plan of $4.8 billion for 2016, down from $6.7 billion of planned investments detailed in a September presentation. The new figure represents a drop of approximately 40% from 2015 investment.

Oil fell below $35 a barrel in New York Monday for the first time since 2009 as Iran reiterated its pledge to boost crude exports, bolstering speculation OPEC members will exacerbate the global oversupply. Drillers in Colombia including Ecopetrol and Pacific Exploration and Production Corp. have scrambled to cut costs and investments as revenues shrink.

Ecopetrol’s investments will be focused on production, the evaluation of recent discoveries and the completion of Reficar refinery modernization works, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Willis in Bogota at awillis21@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net Matthew Bristow

Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.

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