Colombia's Ecopetrol Joins Turkey Oil Co Unit In Exploration

Colombia's state-owned oil company Ecopetrol SA teamed up with a unit of Turkey's state oil company Turkish Petroleum Corp. to seek oil and gas in the Colombian province of Norte de Santander, on the border with Venezuela, Ecopetrol said Feb. 12.

Both companies will drill a well and buy at least 20 kilometers of seismic studies, Ecopetrol added. Turkish Petroleum will pay for those initial works.

Ecopetrol and Turkish Petroleum will each hold 50% of the new venture.

The move is part of the Ecopetrol's strategy to invest heavily in Colombia and abroad to find new reserves. The state-owned company, which recently listed on the local stock market, already secured the rights to seek oil in several areas in Brazil, Peru and the Gulf of Mexico.

Turkish Petroleum produces about 75% of the oil consumed by Turkey.

Shares of Ecopetrol Tuesday fell 0.3% to 1,815 Colombian pesos ($0.95), while the local benchmark IGBC index fell 0.9%.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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