ChevronTexaco and Ecopetrol Team Up in Colombia

ChevronTexaco's Colombia subsidiary, Texas Petroleum Company, and Ecopetrol, the Colombian national oil company, have signed an agreement for incremental gas production from the Guajira region in the northeastern coastal region of the country. The agreement for the Catalina Project, signed on Feb. 8, provides the basis for the country's natural gas supply and distribution through 2016.

Texas Petroleum Company and Ecopetrol currently produce more than 80 percent of the natural gas consumed in Colombia. The gas comes from Chuchupa, the country's only offshore field, and Ballena, an onshore field located in Guajira State. Together these fields produce on average 500 million cubic feet of gas a day. The new agreement will enable both companies to develop and produce an additional one trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves that are still in the area.

"The Catalina Agreement reaffirms ChevronTexaco's commitment to Colombia by allowing us to expand production to meet the country's natural gas needs," said George Kirkland, president of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum. "We are proud of our history and contribution to the country through the production of energy, creation of jobs and the development we have brought to the Guajira region. Furthermore, this project demonstrates our commitment to building a world-class global natural gas business."

The gas produced from Catalina will be distributed mainly in the northern and central regions of the country. Gas may also eventually be exported to Venezuela if a gas pipeline project under study by both countries demonstrates the feasibility of connecting the gas producing fields of Guajira with the Maracaibo region of Venezuela.

ChevronTexaco's history in Colombia dates back to the late 1920s, when the company began exploration activities. Today, ChevronTexaco operates the Ballena and Chuchupa fields. ChevronTexaco is active in the retail gasoline marketing industry in Colombia where there are 290 Texaco-branded service stations. In addition, through a joint venture ChevronTexaco provides jet fuel to Colombia's major airports.