Ecopetrol Earmarks $8.48B for 2012 Capex

Ecopetrol reported its approved investment plan for the year 2012 and the update of the strategic plan for the Corporate Group for the 2012-2020 period.

"Our efforts are focused on fulfilling the goals we set forth for the years 2015 and 2020. 2012 is essential to make our vision as a corporate group a reality, which explains the importance of the approved investment plan," said the president of Ecopetrol, Javier Gutierrez Pemberthy.

Regarding the update of the investment plan, Mr. Gutierrez stated that "the annual revision and update exercise of the main premises of the 2020 strategic plan is key to support the decision-making and to consolidate our value promise that was announced four years ago and on which we have been delivering satisfactory results."

Investment plan for 2012

The investment plan approved for 2012 amounts to US $8.477 billion of which US $7.452B is expected to be invested directly in Ecopetrol and US $1.025 million in other companies of the Corporate Group.

According to the plan, 94% of the Capex is allocated to projects in Colombia, and the remaining 6% will be allocated to exploration and production projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast and Brazil and Peru, where Ecopetrol holds interests.

The following exhibit summarizes the breakdown of expected investments in 2012:

Business Area Capex
Exploration $1.419B
Production $4.113B
Refining & Petrochemicals $601MM
Transportation $2.025B
Other Investments $318MM
Total $8.477B

The following are the main projects that Ecopetrol S.A. plans to develop during 2012:


With an investment of US $1,419 million in 2012, Ecopetrol S.A. plans to drill 42 exploratory wells, of which 36 will be located in Colombia. The Company plans to continue with activities on all blocks it has in Colombia. Most of these wells will be in the Llanos Orientales while others will be drilled in the Magdalena valley, Catatumbo, Piedemonte and the Caribbean offshore. Six wells will be drilled internationally in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Brazil. The drilling goal was set according to the strategy of focusing on prospects with higher potential and value for the company.

The company plans also to continue to develop unconventional resources (shale gas) on blocks in the Mid Magdalena.


Ecopetrol S.A. allocated US $4,113 million for continued growth of crude oil and gas production with a target of up to 750 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED) in 2012 as an average. This production goal is 10.6% higher than the 2011 goal. Ecopetrol's Corporate Group's production is expected to reach 800 MBOED in 2012.

Most of the investment will be earmarked for projects in the Llanos Orientales. Primary recovery projects will begin at the CPO-9 and Cano Sur fields. Projects will continue at Castilla, Chichimene, Rubiales, Occidente, Quifa, Caracara, Cravo Norte, Guajira, Rio Zulia, Rancho Hermoso, Tisquirama, Sur, Neiva, Provincia, Casabe, Tibu, La Cira Infantas, Apiay, Nare, Yarigui and Cusiana fields, among others.

Refining, Petrochemicals and Biofuels

The estimated total investment in this business segment is US $601 million under the investment plan, used primarily for the industrial services project, operational improvement plan and upgrades at the Barrancabermeja and Cartagena refineries. Investments in bio-fuels are included through contributions to Bioenergy.


The US $2,025 million in investments in transport aims to increase crude evacuation capacity by 600 thousand barrels a day (BPD) in 2012. These projects are expected to help increase heavy crude production. Also included in this investment amounts are contributions to the companies Oleoducto

Bicentenario and Oleoducto de Colombia. Oleoducto de los Llanos expansion will be funded autonomously by ODL.

Other investments

Ecopetrol S.A. plans allocated US$318 million to other investments including, among others, research and development investments at the Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo (Colombian Petroleum Institute –ICP-) and information technology. The investments are also expected to help fund initiatives in the areas of human talent, the shared services center, quality management and social responsibility.

Corporate Group Investments

Corporate Group Investments are expected to amount to US $10.964, including US $8,477 million in Ecopetrol S.A. and US $2,487 million of investments undertaken by the companies part of the Corporate Group with their own resources.

The investment plan includes Capex for Group's companies amounting to US $4,576 million in 2012, of which Ecopetrol S.A. will contribute US $1,025 million. The remaining resources are expected to come from cash generation by each company, commercial financing, and the contributions of third parties or partners.

Update of the Strategic Plan for the period 2012-2020

In line with the annual budget and investment exercise, the Strategic Plan of the company was reviewed under which key elements of the strategy were updated.

The main objectives of the Strategic Plan are:

  • Produce 1.3 million barrels by 2020, of which around 50% are expected to be heavy crude.
  • Increase average reserve life to approximately 10 years, adding 6,200 million barrels.
  • Raise the recovery factor to 34% by means of EOR/IOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery/Improved Oil Recover) technologies.
  • Expand the transport capacity to 1.7 million barrels per day.
  • Grow the refining capacity from 300 thousand to 415 thousand processed barrels per day.
  • Reach production of 450 thousand tons per year of bio-fuels.
  • Meet a three-year return on capital employed (ROCE) criteria for the investments included in the plan of: 28% in Exploration and production, 11% in transportation, and 13% in petrochemicals. Refining rates will reach between 9% and 11% by 2025.

The following are the main milestones of the Strategic Plan:

  • Estimated Capex amounts to US $80 billion in order to accomplish the goals set forth in the 2012-2020 Strategic Plan.
  • Approximately 85% of the total Capex is allocated to exploration and production, and 15% to refining, transport, commercialization, bio-fuels and organizational consolidation.
  • 90% of the investment is earmarked to projects in Colombia. The remaining 10% will be allocated to E&P projects along the U.S. Golf Coast and in Brazil and Peru.
  • Capex in E&P amounts to US $69.5 billion, of which US $20 billion will be invested in exploration and development of new reserves, US $39 billion in technology to increase the recovery factor, US $4 billion to develop unconventional hydrocarbons and gas, and US $6 billion to develop existing fields (includes subsidiaries production).
  • The company expects to add in total 6,200 million barrels of new reserves between years 2011-2020. In order to reach 1.3 million barrels per day of production by year 2020, the production of existing fields is expected to be 840 MBOED; Colombian exploration and subsidiaries 300 MBOED; international exploration and foreign subsidiaries 110 KBOED; and unconventional hydrocarbons 50 MBOED.
  • In the Downstream segment, investments in refining during years 2012-2020 are expected to reach US $5,900 million in required for the completion of the modernization projects in the refineries of Cartagena and Barrancabermeja, while US $516 million will be invested in bio-fuels. These investments will allow having cleaner and more valuable fuel production that adds value to heavy crude.
  • By year 2020 the company expects to have a strong midstream with integral transport and logistics solutions that guarantee adequate transportation of crude and products. Investments in this segment are planned to reach US $4 billion primarily represented the expansion of the Bicentenario Oil Pipeline, the ODC (Colombia Oil Pipeline), the Andean Multipurpose Pipeline, the San Fernando-Monterrey oil pipeline, and the Pozos-Colorados Galan system.