Repsol Adds to Hunt for Offshore Oil in Colombia

BOGOTA (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 7, 2011

Colombia's state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol reached a deal with Repsol for the Spanish oil major to participate in two more offshore exploration projects in the Caribbean.

The deal will give Repsol a 50% stake in each of two oil blocks off Colombia's Caribbean coast, RC-11 and RC-12, Ecopetrol said in a statement late Wednesday. Ecopetrol will retain the other 50% stake in each and stay on as the operator of the blocks.

The deal must still be approved by Colombia's oil-licensing agency, ANH.

In January, Repsol took a 30% stake in another Caribbean offshore exploration block called Tayrona. Ecopetrol and the local unit of Brazil's state-run company, Petrobras, also have a stake in the Tayrona block.

Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil and gas company, and it accounts for 60% of total production.

Colombia's oil sector is booming, and the government is hoping output will reach 1 million barrels a day by the end of the year.

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